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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Update

I am sorry I haven't posted lately. Been busy during this holiday season. Right now I am reading another great book by Nora Roberts. As soon as I finish, I will blog about it.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Symbols

Christmas Symbols


Christmas Day is celebrated on December 25th of each year. It is the day Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The word "Christmas" means "Christ's Mass" - derived from the English term "Christes masse". There are many different customs and traditions around the world. American customs come from many places. Santa Claus has a Dutch origin. He was developed from St. Nicholas who was a real person. St. Nicholas, was the patron saint of school boys. He brought gifts to the children. The idea that Santa Claus comes down the chimney originated in Norway, where children hang Christmas stockings on the fireplace mantel. Christmas trees have pagan origins. When pagans became Christian, they used evergreens (a sacred tree) for the holiday by decorating them with nuts and candles. They sang Christmas carols as they danced around the Christmas tree. ~~~~~~~~~~

Christmas colors are red and green. Today, traditional Christmas activities include caroling, making and giving gifts, sending cards to family and friends, and enjoying festive dinners and parties. Below are symbols of Christmas and their significance.
~~~~~
Advent Wreath
Four candles placed on a wreath. One candle is lit each Sunday before Christmas in anticipation of Christ's birthday. ~~~~

Angel
An angel told the shepherds of the birth of Jesus. Angels come in many forms for Christmas decorations including the tree topper.~~~~


Bells
Church bells rang to announce the birth of Jesus. They still ring today. ~~~


Camels
Camels are the animals the wisemen rode following the star to where Jesus was born.~~~


Candles
Candles represent the light that Jesus brought to earth. Pagans who converted to Christianity used candles on the sacred evergreen tree.~~~~


Christmas Cards
For many years, private notes of good tidings were sent at Christmas time. In 1843, Sir Henry Cole had 1000 special designed cards printed. The custom of sending Christmas cards began.~~~~

Christmas Caroling
Caroling is a medieval custom of singing and dancing around a Christmas tree. Early carols weren't holy enough for singing inside a church, so caroling was done outside. ~~~~

Christmas Cookies
Originated with pre-Christian Romans who gave sweet cakes to their senators.~~~~


Christmas Seals
A Danish postal clerk sold Christmas stamps (Christmas seals) to show that users had given to a worthy cause.~~~~


Christmas Stocking
There is a legend associated with the origin of Christmas stockings. St. Nick, who wanted to remain anonymous and help a poor family, threw gold coins down their chimney. They fell into a stocking that was hanging there to dry. ~~~~~~


Christmas Tree Lights
The lights represent Christ as being the "Light of the World." Lights also represent stars. Candles were first used as lights on the Christmas tree.~~~~


Creche
A manger scene representing the Jesus' place of birth.
Donkeys, Lambs, and Cows
Donkeys, lambs, and cows were animals close to Jesus at the time of his birth. They are usually part of the Creche. ~~~~


Evergreen Tree
The evergreen tree was decorated by the pagans at the feast of the winter solstice. The evergreen tree was a sign that winter would end.~~~~

Gifts
The first Christmas gifts were given by the Wisemen to Baby Jesus. ~~~~

Holly
Holly is a shrub with spiny leaves and red berries. The leaves remain green throughout the year. Pagans thought its greenness was a promise that the sun would return. Early French and English families hung holly over their doors to symbolize a home in which Christ's birth is celebrated. ~~~~

Icicles
Icicles are sometimes used as a tree decoration. As per an old story, the Christ child took shelter for a night under a pine tree. When the tree realized that it was caring for Jesus, tears of happiness fell from its branches. The tears froze into icicles.
~~~~
Jesus
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Christians believe Jesus is the son of God. ````

Joseph
Joseph is the husband of Mary.~~~~

Manger
A cow's manger is the place where Baby Jesus slept. It is part of the Creche.~~~~

Mary
Mary is the mother of Jesus. ~~~~

Mince Meat Pie
Mince meat pie is full of spices and fruits. It represents the exotic treasures of the East that the Wisemen brought to Jesus. ~~~~

Mistletoe
A sprig of evergreen plant hung at Christmas time. Custom is that people can kiss each other standing under it. ~~~~

Plum Pudding
Plum pudding originated by an English king that was stranded in a blizzard one Christmas Eve. He used what he could find to make a special holiday dish. ~~~~

Poinsettia
This flower was brought to the U.S. by Dr, J.R. Poinsett in 1825. He was the first first United States ambassador to Mexico. Because of its flame leaf, the poinsettia is sometimes called the Christmas Star. A Mexican legend explains how this flower got associated with Christmas.~~~~

Reindeer
Reindeer were the animals chosen by St. Nicholas to pull his sleigh. His reindeers' names are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer is the most famous.~~~~

Saint Nicholas
Saint Nicholas was a real person. He was a kind bishop who brought presents to children and needy people. ~~~~

Shepherds
Shepherds tend sheep. They came to the manger to honor Baby Jesus.~~~~

Star
The Star of Bethlehem guided the Three Wisemen to Baby Jesus. ~~~~

Tinsel
There is a legend associated with this thin metalic foil strip decoration. It tells about parents who trimmed a tree while their children were sleeping. Spiders came to see the tree, leaving cobwebs all over it. The Christ Child came to bless the tree and turned the cobwebs to silver.~~~~

Three Wisemen
Three Kings travelled far to see Jesus. They brought their best treasures for gifts.
Gold - a precious metal associated with the power of kings~~~~

Frankincense - A resin from a rare and sacred tree used as incense ~~~~

Myrrh - A resin from a shrub used in making perfume. ~~~~

Wassail
A wassail is a salutation of good health or well wishes by means of a toast. The drink is a mixture of mulled eggs, curdled cream, apples, nuts, and spices. Usually poured from a punch bowl while exchanging Christmas greeings. ~~~~

Yule Log
The word "yule" means "wheel," a symbol representing the sun. Before Jesus was born, pagans thought the sun stood still for 12 days at the end of the year. A log was cut large enough to burn for this time period to burn away last year's evil.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Origins of Christmas



Origins of Christmas

credit goes to http://www.allthingschristmas.com/traditions.html








From the Old English 'Cristes M├Žsse' ~ meaning the 'mass of Christ' ~ the story of Christmas begins with the birth of a babe in Bethlehem.




It is believed that Christ was born on the 25th, although the exact month is unknown. December was likely chosen so the Catholic Church could compete with rival pagan rituals held at that time of year and because of its closeness with the winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere, a traditional time of celebration among many ancient cultures.





Luke, Chapter Two

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.



And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

Friday, December 4, 2009

New Job......

A guy goes to the Post Office to apply for a job.

The interviewer asks him, "Are you allergic to anything?"
He replies, "Yes- caffeine."


"Have you ever been in the military service?
"Yes," he says "I was in Iraq for two years."


The interviewer says,” That will give you 5 extra points toward employment."


Then he asks,” Are you disabled in any way?"


The guy says, "Yes. A bomb exploded near me and I lost both of my testicles.


The interviewer grimaces and then says, "O.K. You've got enough points
for me to hire you right now. Our normal hours are from 8:00 A.M. to
4:00 P.M. You can start tomorrow at 10:00 - and plan on starting at 10:00
A.M. every day."


The guy is puzzled and asks, "If the work hours are from 8:00 A.M. to
4:00 P...M., why don't you want me to here until 10:00 A.M.?"


"This is a government job," the inter-viewer says, "For the first two
hours, we just stand around drinking coffee and scratching our balls. No point in you coming in for that.".

My Name Is Mike by Gail Sattler







This book really hit home for me as I am an adult child of an alcoholic.


Follow Mike on his journey of the 12-step program and accepting Jesus as his Savior. He gets a little push by his probation officer's sister who also happens to be the daughter of a pastor.

His Kind of Woman by Pat Tracy

This book is part of the Silhouette Babies and Bachelors USA collection. It takes place in Idaho.
It is about Grace, Matthew, and their 2 boys.

Both of their spouses have passed away. Matthew and Grace's late husband were always competing. The competing was passed to the next generation. So, Grace's son, Jason and Matthew's son Brian are feuding unitl they reach a common ground........getting their parents together.