Thursday, December 22, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

This may very well be my last post of 2011 as the Christmas preparations are nearing completion and I want to allow for some relaxing before the family get-togethers on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  My family is trying two new ideas this year to see if this might become a new tradition.

We'll all go to the 5:30 pm service at church and then head over to my daughter's house for canapes and other yummy snacks.Then it will be time for the children to get their gifts, only the children.  That way the evening is theirs and we can all enjoy seeing them play with their new toys. 

The following Christmas Day we'll get together for a casual lunch and the adults will exchange their gifts.  We also are trying a name exchange so that this year you have one person for whom you must get a gift.  You can get a gift for anyone you want and they you, but you must buy a gift for your chosen name.  The idea has met with some opposition but we're going to try it this way and see what the consensus is for future Christmas celebrations.  I'm anxious to see how this new method goes. How will you know if you never try.

Today I remembered one of my Appleton friends with a gift and a poem.  I have included it here:

FOREVER TETHERED
by Pat Severin

Friendship comes in many forms.
Some casual won't weather storms.

Some may come from days gone by
And some they make us ask, "ah, why?"

Some we wish had warning labels
Because they use, then turn the tables.

But if you're lucky you might find
A friend, as you, with a like mind...

Whose faith's important and who prays,
Can see God's hand in many ways.

That friendship is the kind that lasts.
It's good today as in the past.

A treasure, blessing, precious, too
And likewise sees the same in you.

So, dearest friend, this Christmastime
I'm proud that you're a friend of mine.

I know we're linked for now and ever.
Friends who'll be forever tethered.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

CHRISTMAS PREPARATIONS

Like many of you I'm getting ready for Christmas.  Made a batch of candy yesterday and am making Chex Mix today.  Tomorrow may be the day for Christmas cut-out cookies, not sure.  I'm really enjoying all the prep this year, a perk that comes from the leisure of being retired.  Also, the fact that my husband is willing, ready and able to help me is the real key ingredient and he knows that I really appreciate it.

I have done my traditional Christmas letter this year, always a joy to review the events of the past year. Haven't received many cards so far this year but I think fewer and fewer people send cards out.  Along with my Christmas letter I included the following poem.  I hope you enjoy it and consider it my Merry Christmas to you all.

FOR YOU AND ALL THE EARTH
by Patty Lynn

"Oh, Christmas is for children,"
Or so the saying goes.
Such happy faces, sounds of glee,
Ol' Santa's bright, red nose!

But also it's the time we spend
With family and friends
The candles flickering, tree so bright
The cards we like to send.

But what about the Christmas Child
Born on that star-lit night?
The awe-struck shepherds, overwhelmed,
To see that wondrous sight!

Why is it we can put aside
What we should ne'er forget?
How is it we're consumed instead
About what we'll regret.

For isn't it of worldly things
That we all should be wary?
And buying this and buying that's
Not what makes Christmas merry?

It's not the tinsel, wreath or tree
The presents wrapped in splendor
Nor carols by the fireside
It is the Babe so tender.

For yes, indeed that tiny Babe
Born just to set men free
God's grace and love was born that night
That birth for you and me.

So as you shop and food prepare
Your family expecting
Remember why we celebrate
Make sure you're not rejecting...

The reason for this holiday
Your Savior's humble birth
God's Son was born that holy night
For you and all the earth.