Month: December 2011

Advent 2011 Day 8

I was reminiscing about Christmas’ past and thought I’d share some of my favorite childhood Christmas memories. 

It just wasn’t Christmas for me as a kid until I saw Santa sledding on a Norelco Electric Shaver. How awesome is it that we now have Google so we can search for things from the past and continue to enjoy them – who would have thought it would be possible!

I love the smell of a fresh cut Canadian Balsam, but I loved sitting in front of my Grandmom Palermo’s Aluminum tree with the color wheel.  (this isn’t her tree but it’s close enough)tree2

I loved all the wonderful candy I would find in my stocking like the Lifesaver story bookcandy, chocolate foil wrapped coinscandy2, ribbon candycandy3, candy coated chocolate strawscandy4, and gold rocks bubble gumcandy5, but my favorite was the toy shaped sugar lollipops – or glycerin candy.  I have such a hard time finding them these days and couldn’t even find a picture of them, but they came in a bag with 4 or 5 lollipops.  They were red, green and yellow and came in different shapes.  I remember one was a chicken, and another a tree.  They were pure sugar and yummy.  While searching I found another lollipop we would get but I still liked those other lollipops a lot morecandy6.

I couldn’t wait to watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Jack Frost. They are still some of my favorite movies.  One year, my dad took me to the movie theater to see Albert Finney in Scrooge.  I never forgot how much fun we had and I watch it every year.  I love the story so much I have several versions of it and I am ashamed to say this, being such an avid reader, but until this year, I never took the time to read the original story by Charles Dickens.  Great story, I highly recommend it. 

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toyAnd I would be lying if I didn’t say I loved all the cool toys, like my first Barbie doll, toy2my princess vanity table, nurse’s kit, toy3and all the dollies like baby tumblestoy6 or baby grow a toothtoy4.  But my favorite gift was probably the 20” Baby Blue Schwinn bike I got one year.  It was so beautiful and to top it off, it was warm out that Christmas day so I was able to go outside and take it for a spin.  I loved that bike, however my baby brother loved to take things apart so one year while I was visiting with my Grandmom Palermo, he decided to disassemble it.  The problem was that when he tried to put it back together, there were a few parts left over that shouldn’t have been, if you know what I mean. 

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Well, I hoped you enjoyed my trip down memory lane.  I have lots of other memories, some good, like going to bed on Christmas Eve with the tree untrimmed, then waking up Christmas morning to see it all lit up and gloriously decorated – by Santa as Mom tells it.  Some bad, like the year I was forced to eat a bowl of Spaghetios but my stomach hurt and I got sick really bad.  With that said, I must say the good ones outweigh and always push away the bad ones, and I would not trade away a single one.  Take care and God bless. ~Briggie

Advent 2011 Day 7

I actually posted this back in November of 2008, and today someone visited my site and commented on it.  I thank them for blessing me with the remembrance of this and decided to repost it for today’s advent.  God bless you and keep you in His care. ~Briggie

clip_image002 Well, Christmas is just a few weeks away and I found this story on a tract in my local Christian bookstore and thought I would share it with you.    Some people believe this story of the candy cane is only a legend.  Others believe it really happened this way.  We do not know for sure exactly how the candy cane was invented, but one thing is certain…it is an excellent picture of Christ and His love for us.clip_image004

Long ago there were two villages in a far-off land.  One was in a valley, and one was on a mountaintop.  The people in the mountain village wanted to give each person in the valley a Christmas gift.

So, the mountain townspeople formed a committee to think of something special.  Money was limited and each gift had to be of equal value to each person.  After much time an discussion a decision was finally reached.  The town’s candy maker, an elderly gentleman who had loved Jesus for many years, came up with an idea – the candy cane.

Now, you may be thinking, what is so special about a candy cane – and how can it ever be tied in with the real meaning of Christmas?  Well here is how…and why…

 

1.  The candy cane is in the shape of a shepherd’s staff.  Jesus is our Shepherd, and we are in His flock.  A sheep, follows his own shepherd, knows his voice, trusts him and knows that he is totally safe with him.  The sheep will follow no other shepherd than their own.  In the same way, if we belong to Jesus, we are to follow only Him.   (John 10:11; Psalm 23:1; Isaiah 40:11)clip_image005

2.  Turned over, the candy cane is a "J", the first letter of Jesus’ name.  (Luke 1:31)  It is made of hard candy to remind us that Chris is the "rock" of our salvation.

 

3.  The wide red stripes on the candy cane represent the blood of Jesus shed on the cross for each one of us so that we can have eternal life through Him.  He restores us and cleans us with His shed blood – the only thing that can wash away our sin.  (Luke 22:20)

 

4.  The white stripes on the candy cane represent Jesus’ virgin birth and His pure, sinless life.  He is the only human being ever who never committed a single sin, even though He was tempted just as we are.  (1 Peter 2:22)clip_image004

5.  The narrow red stripes on candy canes symbolize Jesus’ stripes, or scars, which He got when He was arrested and whipped.  The Bible says we are healed (of sin) because He took those wounds.  (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24)

 

6.  The flavoring in the candy cane is peppermint, which is similar to hyssop.  Hyssop is of the mint family and was used in Old Testament times for purification and sacrifice.  (John 19:29; Psalm 51:7)

 

7.  When we break our candy cane, it reminds us that Jesus’ body was broken for us.  When we have communion, it is a reminder of what He did for us.  (1 Corinthians 11:24)clip_image005

8.  And, if we share our candy cane and give some to someone else because we love that person, we are sharing the love of Jesus (1 John 4:7,8)

 

God gave Himself to us when He sent Jesus to earth to save us.  He loves us so much that he wants us to spend eternity with Him.  We are assured of that when we accept Jesus into our hearts as our Savior.  (John 1:12; John 3:3,16)

You can accept Jesus into your heart through a prayer like this:

Dear God, Thank You for loving me enough to send Jesus for Christmas.  I believe Jesus died for my sins, and I accept Him now as my Savior.  I promise to follow Him clip_image007and share His love with others the best that I can.  Amen.

Advent 2011 Day 6

Merry Christmas versus Happy Holidays.  This is the topic of many discussions and sometimes those discussions get quite heated.  My personal feeling is this, we live in the United States of America where freedom of speech and belief is our right.  So if I choose to say Merry Christmas, it is my right.  If you prefer Happy Holliday, it’s your right.  It’s about respecting each person’s right to celebrate, honor or worship in the way they choose.  As for me and my house, we shall celebrate, honor and worship Jesus Christ, our Reason for the season.  I’ve posted 2 videos I thought might enjoy.  Merry Christmas and God bless you! ~Briggie

Advent 2011 Day 5

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lights2It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… Actually, if you’ve been to any of the stores, it’s been looking like Christmas since before Halloween, but who’s counting?  Anyway, with the days flying by, I decided to get started on my outside lighting, or should I say, finish up.  My son started setting things up last week, but I just wasn’t feeling much yuletide spirit and had so little energy to tackle the job. lights4 To be quite honest, I felt a bit ho-hum and wasn’t in the mood to work on the decorations, but I began stringing lights on my lights3Dogwood today and suddenly seeing it so bright and lit up, I felt a spark of that Christmas spirit touch me deep inside and one thing led to another, and if it wasn’t for my knee giving me trouble, I would have finished stringing the front and back porch to bring my outside work to a conclusion, but it will have to wait till another day.  So if you haven’t done so, string up some lights, whether it’s inside or out.  They brighten up a room as well as our spirits.lights ~Briggie

Advent 2011 Day 4

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With Christmas just 3 short weeks away, I figure this is a good time to get started on my Christmas card list.  I remember when I would send out over a hundred cards to friends, family, co-workers and neighbors.  To save time I would use labels to address the envelopes and to sign my cards, but began to feel it was more of a chore and not a labor of love, so over the years, for various reasons, I’ve trimmed my list.  With this I mind I thought I’d research the origins of sending Christmas cards and this is what I found:

Christmas Cards

No one is sure where the tradition of sending Christmas cards first started. Some say it began in England, where schoolchildren away from home would write to their parents reminding them that the gift-giving time would soon be near. The first known artist to create a Christmas card was John Calcott Horsley, who designed a card for Sir Henry Cole, a London museum director.  Sir Henry Cole decided that it would be easier to send pre-made cards than to labor over individual greetings, as he had done as a child. Sir Henry had 1000 cards printed and sold them for one shilling each.  At first, only the wealthy could afford them, then later less-expensive printing soon became available.  Queen Victoria loved the idea and soon it became quite fashionable. By the 1850s, Christmas cards were a well established tradition.
Christmas cards did not become popular in America until the 1870s when Louis Prang, a German immigrant who owned a small Massachusetts print shop, designed and printed such beautiful cards that he became known as, “father of American Christmas cards.” The cards were favorable, but impractical to produce. By the end of the nineteenth century, less expensive cards were taking over and Prang was forced out of business.  Before WWI, many of the cards sold in America came from Germany.  After the war, the Christmas card business flourished. Today, over two-and-a-half billion Christmas cards are exchanged every year!

So, now that you know how they got their start, why not start a new tradition.  This year when you send your cards, perhaps you could send a few to your local nursing home asking them to share the cards with those who may not have family or friends.  Perhaps you could send a few to our service men and women overseas (click here for the link on how to send your cards to insure they arrive on time).border

Advent 2011 Day 3

garland2I heard this song for the first time a few years ago and was so moved that not only has it become one of my favorite holiday songs, I find myself humming when I need to feel closer to God.  It moves me to tears every time.  May God richly bless you and may His peace be upon you. ~Briggie ^i^

Advent 2011 Day 2

wreath

The Wreath is on the Door

The wreath is on the door

And the snow is on the tree

God has laid His holy hands

On all that we can see.

Be quick to raise your voice

And praise what He has brought.

Keep now His love in every choice

And Christmas in every thought.  

~Anonymous

 

Whatever your taste or style, if you haven’t already done so, hang your wreath today!  God bless you and keep you in His care. ~Briggie ^i^