Sunday, December 26, 2010

‘twas more than Merry

christmas 2010 006I was a little nervous that Christmas might disappoint this year.christmas 2010 045                Everyone seemed a little glum.christmas 2010 012

Or stressed. Maybe that’s a better word.christmas 2010 013

Angst has been abundant in our home this year.christmas 2010 011

But suddenly, Christmas morning was upon us-christmas 2010 024

and there wasn’t a frown or a look of despair to be found.christmas 2010 019

There was so much joy christmas 2010 010

in giving to each other.christmas 2010 026

In listening to the story of why we celebrate Christmas.christmas 2010 014

In being together.christmas 2010 118       christmas 2010 064   

{With all of our issues and problems and woes}christmas 2010 070

I could write a zillion words christmas 2010 068with a zillion different explanations about our day…christmas 2010 066

but I am going to let you just look at the pictures.christmas 2010 057

Please don’t look for perfect people.christmas 2010 056

Please don’t look for Norman Rockwell like scenes.christmas 2010 050

And please don’t look at the double chinschristmas 2010 046

(or horrendous wrapping jobs or even quality pictures…)christmas 2010 053

Just look at the love.christmas 2010 029

We have so much of that. christmas 2010 030

So very much.christmas 2010 035

With a thankful heart, Beckychristmas 2010 032

What was your favorite thing

about Christmas this year?

christmas 2010 039

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. wordishwednesdaysanta

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

"VIRGINIA O'HANLON.
"115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET."santa 8

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. santa 3All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.riley
Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. colton 048 Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.santa 7
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? arishi party 003Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? santa 4Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.santa 10
You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. santa 5Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.  cvs 026
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Francis Pharcellus Church

  chestnut hill wrestling 101 To all the Virginias, Milas, Rishis, Sabrias, Coltons,Jourdans, Shoshis, Tys, Christinas, Rileys, Levis and Kaishons-May you always believe in the magic of Christmas  no matter how old you may grow.

 The Long Road to China

ABC Wednesday

Merry Christmas little blessings. Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Nativity Story

 jourdan & jamal christmas program 2010 009    

In those days the government decided that they should count everyone that lived in that area of the world.  So Joseph had to take Mary to his town, Bethlehem to register.jourdan & jamal christmas program 2010 015

It took Mary and Joseph a long time to get to Bethlehem.  They didn't have cars back then, so it probably took them a lot longer to get there.  This was very tiring for Mary because she was soon going to have a baby.

When they reached the town, all the hotels were full and there was nowhere that they could stay.  Finally, someone felt bad for them, and offered them a place to stay. 

jourdan & jamal christmas program 2010 021

Mary and Joseph were thankful that they at least had a place to lay down.  It was warm, and there was plenty of straw to lay on.

That night an exciting, wonderful thing happened.  Mary and Joseph had a baby!  But it wasn't just any baby, it was Baby Jesus!  The creator of the whole world, the King of Kings, the one who would save the world.

The little baby boy fell asleep in Mary's arms and she wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger on some clean straw.jourdan & jamal christmas program 2010 019

Some shepherds who lived near Bethlehem, were out at night in their fields watching over their sheep.  They were worried a bigger animal might come and hurt the sheep, so that sat on a hill visiting and watching their sheep together.

Suddenly there was a bright light.  Now this wasn't just any bright light, the light was so bright that they had to close their eyes for a minute because the light hurt their eyes. jourdan & jamal christmas program 2010 193  

When they opened their eyes to see what was going on, a beautiful angel was standing in the air just above them with his arms opened wide.

The shepherds looked at each other in disbelief, but realized it must be real, because they were all seeing the same thing.  All at once they were very afraid, but they didn't run because they were too stunned to do anything.

Then the angel spoke to them.  "Do not be afraid.  I'm here to bring you good news for all people.  Today in Bethlehem a baby has been born, He is the one that will save the world.  You will know the baby because He will be wrapped in cloths, and laying in a manger."

Suddenly, just as quickly as the first angel came, there were a large group of angels, and they said together, "Glory to God, and peace to all people on earth."  After they spoke, they floated away.jourdan & jamal christmas program 2010 169

The shepherds were amazed and excited, did everyone know this news, or just them?  They had to go see this baby the angels were talking about.

They ran as fast as they could, and soon found Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus.  The shepherds fell to their knees when they saw Jesus, they were filled with joy that they had found the Lord.

During the time when Jesus was born there was a very mean king who ruled the land, his name was King Herod.  Soon after Jesus was born,  wise men were traveling on their camels; one night they noticed a very strange star in the sky.  They knew that this star meant that the King of the Jews, the One who would save the world had been born.jourdan & jamal christmas program 2010 013

King Herod called a meeting with all the other important people in the area and asked them where this special baby had been born.  The people replied, "In Bethlehem, because they heard that one day a special person would come from there and take care of all the people."

Then King Herod called the wise men to a secret meeting and found out from them exactly where they saw the star.  He then told them, "Go and find this child.  As soon as you find him, tell me, so that I can go and worship him."jourdan & jamal christmas program 2010 162

After they had spoken to the King, the wise men left to find the baby.  They didn't know exactly where the baby was, but at night they followed the star in the east.  They followed the star until it hung right over the very place where Jesus was.school bus 2

Since it took the wise men a while to get to baby Jesus, they probably didn't arrive the day Jesus was born but sometime later.  When they finally had arrived they were very excited and happy.  They found Jesus laying in Mary's arms, and they bowed down and worshipped him.

After that they opened the gifts they had brought Jesus.  They were gold, frankincense and myrrh.  These were very expensive gifts, gifts that you would give to a King, not to a baby.

The story of Christmas is special, full of miracles and strange visitors all coming to visit a King and someday the Savior of the world.

jourdan & jamal christmas program 2010 173 communal global christmas

Story found here.