23 December 2009

The Stocking

This year, I decided to give myself a Christmas present...the gift of time. Time to enjoy every little moment that the days before Christmas arrive to be with friends, family, cook, bake, watch old movies and just appreciate all that I have. I've actually passed on this gift to you with one less blog to read!

And now...a word about that empty stocking.

The DH and I love to watch old black and white movies. Most are PG and the good ones always have a moral behind the story. One of our favorites at this time of year is The Bishop's Wife..a 1947 romantic comedy starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven. It tells the story of an ambitious Bishop (Niven) who prays for guidance and an angel (Grant) comes down to set things right with all the people around him. In the end, the Bishop gives a sermon which is so true today. Spoken by Niven in his clean English accent, swelling music in the is one we can all learn from whether we celebrate this holiday or not. We can all give these simple gifts.

Tonight I want to tell you the story of an empty stocking.

Once upon a midnight clear, there was a child's cry, a blazing star hung over a stable, and wise men came with birthday gifts. We haven't forgotten that night down the centuries.
We celebrate it with stars on Christmas trees, with the sound of bells, and with gifts.

But especially with gifts. You give me a book, I give you a tie. Aunt Martha has always wanted an orange squeezer and Uncle Henry can do with a new pipe. For we forget nobody, adult or child. All the stockings are filled, all that is, except one. And we have even forgotten to hang it up. The stocking for the child born in a manger. Its his birthday we're celebrating. Don't let us ever forget that.

Let us ask ourselves what He would wish for most. And then, let each put in his share, loving kindness, warm hearts, and a stretched out hand of tolerance. All the shinning gifts that make peace on earth.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

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06 December 2009

The Traditions

I've been so busy lately that something had to give and unfortunately, posting took a back seat. This is the time of year when everyone gets busy with shopping, decorating, holiday parties and family get-togethers. While talking to the DH the other night after a Christmas party, we both mentioned that the holidays just seem to be so much more rushed than we ever remember them being. We stretch ourselves so thin that we don't relish the things we enjoy but try to cram everything in. Which brought us to the discussion of our family traditions.

One thing I remember was pulling taffy. Now I'm not a huge fan of the gooey, sugary treats, but I can tell you that is was great fun when the holidays rolled around and Mom decided to make a batch of taffy. She'd bubble the sweet goo in a pan until it was just, peppermint green and vanilla white. The taffy was put on a board to cool slightly. Meanwhile, we scrubbed our hands to the nines...inspection took place...we then greased our hands all over with slimy butter. That's when the fun began! My little brother and I would pull hunks of warm goo back and forth all the while having to grease our hands with more butter. Lots of laughing and chatter going on...Percy Faith Christmas music in the background spinning on an old turntable (I'm dating myself here!). When it was finally pulled to perfection...we'd twist the colors together, cut into strips and wrap the goodies in wax paper. What a mess we made but it was so much fun..way more than even eating the stuff!

Now I haven't pulled taffy in years..always afraid that the kids teeth would further the 401K of our dentist. I'm thinking this year, I want to get away from all the commercialism that Christmas has become and bring back all the old traditions that made it special. Are you carrying on any of your family traditions?
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