Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas in the Neighborhood

It is unseasonable warm here in central Illinois

45 degrees after sunset

I LOVE this scene!

What appears to be hand-painted Santa with his sleigh

And Frosty!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas

It's still Christmas at our house!

In our tradition, the liturgical calendar marks the twelve days of Christmas beginning on December 25th and ending on January 5th.  Christmas is a season for us -- beginning the day we celebrate our Lord's birth and ending when the three kings arrive at His birthplace when we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany. 

The "deeper meaning" of the song The Twelve Days of Christmas is a myth which has been propagated since the mid 1980s.  There is no evidence that its origins were from the  16th century split by the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church.  For a time, it was a crime to be Roman Catholic in England.  During that interval, it was thought that this song was used as a way to teach young Roman Catholic children the catechism.  Truth be told, there is no scholarly evidence to support this myth as fact.

Anyway, here are what the 12 gifts were thought to symbolize:
The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments

Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit - Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit-Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

A meaningful story perhaps but nothing factual to back it up but I still like it!

I'm linking to The Nativity Carnival hosted by Kerry, A Ten O'Clock Scholar

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Peace

I love this part of Christmas

The gifts are opened

The parties are over

All is calm

We can enjoy what is in front of us

With grateful hearts


The Christ child has come to save mankind

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merrry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! 

We've been to worship the newborn King

We've opened gifts

We've feasted

The mess can wait

I hope your Christmas was just as blessed!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas is Coming!

The cookies (12 varieties) are done

The trees (6 large, 5 small) are decorated

I wish I could capture the glory of this tree

The house is full of holiday cheer

Most (six) of my creches are displayed

Not a single gift wrapped

....and I have a nasty cold

Nothing can steal my joy!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Vintage Tree

This is the tree in my office

At night

During the day

Unadorned it is quite the pathetic tree

But by looking closely you can see its beauty

It is filled with vintage ornaments

Gifted to me by my in-laws

The more worn they look

The more beauty I see

I wrap the gifts while gazing upon this tree

And it makes the task pleasurable

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dear Santa

As much as I love Christmas, I really don't have many Santas 

But I fell in love with this Santa

His face doesn't have much of an expression

except for a far off look

anticipating cookies and milk?

Time to send off those last minute letters!

I'm linking to Sundays with Santa

Hosted by Yuletide Seasonings

Saturday, December 17, 2011

At Christmas Angels Abound

If my house has a theme...

Angels on the walls

Angels on the window sill

 Angels in the curios

Angels on the trees

Angels on the sofa table

Angels on the sofa

Angels as tree toppers

Angels in the dining room

Angels dancing on the sideboard

Angels on the mantle

Angels above the computer desk

Angels in the creche

Angels on the outside

Angels to watch over me at night

Angels abound at Christmas and all year round

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Legend of the Pointsettia

Do you use poinsettias as a part of your Christmas decorations?

These poinsettias greet people when they arrive at my house

Fake because I kill all live plants with my black thumb

They also grace my Christmas bed

Have you heard this Christmas legend?

"The ancient Aztecs (the Mexican Indians) prized the Poinsettia as a symbol of
purity. Centuries later, Mexico's early Christians adopted the Poinsettia as their
prized Christmas Eve flower. The Mexican Poinsettia, known as the Christmas
Flower in North America, is used in most Christmas decorations, owing to its
bright red color and its blooming season coinciding with the Christmas holiday
season. The Mexican Poinsettias are commonly bright red. For some, these
star-shaped bracts symbolize the Star of Bethlehem. The Christmas Poinsettia
flowers have become a symbol of Christmas and are used in festive decor.
A Mexican legend explains how Poinsettias came to be associated with
Christmas. Apparently, a child who could not afford a gift to offer to Christ on
Christmas Eve picked some weeds from the side of a road. The child was told
that a humble gift, if given in love, would be acceptable in God's eyes. When
brought into the church, the weeds bloomed into red and green flowers and the
congregation felt that they had witnessed a Christmas miracle!"

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bottle Brush Trees

I love all Christmas trees!

These bottle brush trees were my craft from last year
and really are eye catchers

They range from 12 - 16 inches 
and sit on my sofa table

The trees came with glitter on the tips

I hot glued the colorful glass ornaments onto the trees

Then added foil stars to the top

Quite the easy craft!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Teen Bathroom

The inspiration began here:

My sweet hubby bought these for me in the spring drastically marked down

They live in the bathroom year-round

See them in the background?

Kind of wild and funky but I love them!

And they seem perfect for my teenager's bathroom.

One tree in gold and angels

The other in silver and snowmen

They bring a smile to my heart every morning as I sip my coffee!