Shepards Prayer - Move Me Closer

This my wish and prayer...What about you?  Merry Christmas!


Wordless Wednesday

Snow is beautiful but also destructive!  This WAS a greenhouse!


Make Something Monday

Blue Boleyn Earrings


It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!!!!

Snow is so peaceful.  Here is what I have at my house now!


Heart-warming - From Service Dog to SURFice Dog!

I am an animal lover and when I came across this video I knew I had to share.  Get the Kleenex! 

Wordless Wednesday


Christmas Customs - Mistletoe

Mistletoe is a plant that grows on willow and apple trees (and in garden centres!). The practice of hanging it in the house goes back to the times of the ancient Druids. It is supposed to possess mystical powers which bring good luck to the household and ward off evil spirits. It was also used as a sign of love and friendship in Norse mythology and that's where the custom of kissing under Mistletoe comes from.

When the first Christians came to Western Europe, some tried to ban the use of Mistletoe as a decoration in Churches, but many still continued to use it! York Minster Church in the UK used to hold a special Mistletoe Service in the winter, where wrong doers in the city of York could come and be pardoned.

The custom of kissing under Mistletoe comes from England! The original custom was that a berry was picked from the sprig of Mistletoe before the person could be kissed and when all the berries had gone, there could be no more kissing!!

The name mistletoe comes from two Anglo Saxon words 'Mistel' (which means dung) and 'tan' (which means) twig or stick! So you could translate Mistletoe as 'poo on a stick'!!! Not exactly romantic is it!

*as seen on Why Christmas


Christmas Customs - Christingles

Christingle actually means 'Christ Light' and celebrates the light of Jesus coming into the world: but no one is really sure how the Christingles came into being.

There are several stories told of how the custom was started. There is an ancient Welsh service called a 'Celenig' where Christingles are used and the Moravian Church (part of the Czech Republic) has held Christingle services for over 200 years. This is how some Czech people think the first Christingle might have been made:

Many years ago, children were asked to take a gift to put beside the crib in Church. One family had no money for gifts but were determined to take something. They found an orange which they felt would be okay, but were disappointed to find it was going moldy at the top. However, they thought they would scoop out the bad bits and put a candle in the top and turn it into a lantern. Thinking that it looked a bit ordinary, one of the girls took a red ribbon from her hair and tied it around the middle. They had difficulty getting it to stay in place, so fastened it with four small sticks, on the ends of which they put a few raisins. They took their lantern to church and were afraid of the reactions of the other children. However, the priest acknowledged their gift and told the congregation how special it was for the following reasons:

    * The orange is round like the world.
    * The candle stands tall and straight and gives light in the dark like the love of God.
    * The red ribbon goes all around the 'world' and is a symbol of the blood Jesus shed when he died for us.
    * The four sticks point in all directions and symbolise North, South, East and West - they also represent the four seasons.
    * The fruit and nuts (or sometimes sweets!) represent the fruits of the earth, nurtured by the sunshine and the rain.

Some children in the U.K. make their own Christingles and gather together to light them in a Church Services that raise money for children's charities.

*as found on Why Christmas


Silent Night...The Story!

The words of Silent Night were written by a Priest called Fr. Joseph Mohr in Mariapfarr, Austria, in 1816 and the music was added by his school teacher friend, Franz Xaver Gruber, in 1818 for the Christmas service at St. Nicholas church in Oberndorf, Austria.

Fr. Mohr asked Franz Gruber to compose the melody with a guitar arrangement. It was several years later that Franz Gruber wrote an arrangement for the organ. Historians who have conducted research in recent years believe that Fr. Mohr wanted a new carol that he could play on his guitar.

There is a legend associated with the carol that says, Fr. Mohr wanted the carol to be sung by the children of the village at the midnight Christmas Eve service, as a surprise for their parents. But in the middle of practicing, the organ broke and not a note would come from it! So the children had to learn the carol only accompanied by a guitar. They learned the carol so well that they could sing it on its own without accompaniment.

However, there are no records to indicate that a children's choir was involved or that the organ was broken!

At Midnight Mass in 1818, Fr. Mohr and Franz Gruber sang each of the six verses with the church choir repeating the last two lines of each verse. Mohr set down the guitar arrangement on paper around 1820 and that is the earliest manuscript that still exists. It is displayed in the Carolino Augusteum Museum in Salzburg. There are a number of manuscripts of various 'Stille Nacht' arrangement that were written by Franz Gruber in later years.

The original words of the song were in German (and it was called 'Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht') and translated in to English went:

Silent night, holy night,
Bethlehem sleeps, yet what light,
Floats around the heavenly pair;
Songs of angels fills the air.
Strains of heavenly peace.

It's thought that the song might have traveled around the area with an organ repairman, Karl Mauracher, who could have taken an early arrangement with him in about 1820. Then two singing families (like the 'Von Trappes' in the Sound of Music) seem to have discovered the song and performed it as part of their concerts. In December 1832 the Strasser family performed it at a concert in Leipzig and it was first performed in the USA in 1839 by the Rainer family who sang 'Stille Nacht' at the Alexander Hamilton Monument outside Trinity Church in New York City. During this time the tune changed to the one we know and sing today!

It was translated into English in 1863 by John Freeman Young. The carol was sung during the Christmas Truce in the First World War in December 1914 as it was a song that soldiers on both sides knew!

By the time that the carol was famous, Fr Mohr had died. Franz Gruber wrote to music authorities in Berlin saying that he had composed the tune, but no one believed him and it was thought that Haydn, Mozart of Beethoven had written it! But then the 1820 manuscript was found and in the top right corner Fr Mohr had written: 'Melodie von Fr. Xav. Gruber.'.

It's now one of the most, if not the most, recorded songs in the world!

*as found on The History of Christmas Carols


Recycle Your Light Bulbs!

Saw this great idea on a friends blog..Crafts by Amanda...She has taken old light bulbs and made beautiful Christmas Tree Ornaments.  Go over and check her crafts out!

The History of Christmas Carols -- Christmas Customs and Traditions -- whychristmas?com

The History of Christmas Carols -- Christmas Customs and Traditions -- whychristmas?com

Posted using ShareThis


Weather :: Can you Predict the Weather with a Snowball? :: Farmers' Almanac

Weather :: Can you Predict the Weather with a Snowball? :: Farmers' Almanac

Wordless Wednesday

Christmas Around The World - Africa

Preparation for Christmas in the Congo begins when some group is designated to prepare the annual Christmas pageant.

Christmas day begins with groups of carolers walking to and fro through the village, along the roadway, by the houses of the missionaries, singing the lovely carols known the world around. Often people may be awakened by a group of carolers beginning to converge on the house of worship. They return home to make final preparation as to the clothes one must wear and also as to his offering for the Christmas service.

The most important part of their Christmas worship service is the love offering, this is the gift in honor of Jesus. Then at about 8 or 9 o'clock everyone makes their way to the celebration of the birthday of Jesus.

Everyone who attends the service goes forward to lay down their gift upon the raised platform near the Communion table. Not one person will attend the service without giving a gift.

Now people have Christmas dinners after the service, preparing tables out in front of their home and inviting many of their intimate friends to share.

Christmas in South Africa is a summer holiday. In December, the southern summer brings glorious days of sunshine that carry an irresistible invitation to the beaches, the rivers, and the shaded mountain slopes. Then the South African holiday season reaches its height. Schools are closed, and camping is the order of the day. In South Africa there is no snow, but it has many flowers, many beautiful varieties of cultivated and wild flowers being in their full pride.

In the cities and towns carolers make their rounds on Christmas Eve. Church services are held on Christmas morning. Christmas Eve celebrations in larger centers include "Carols by Candlelight" and special screen and floor shows.

Homes are decorated with pine branches, and all have the decorated Christmas fir in a corner, with presents for the children around. At bedtime on Christmas Eve, children may also hang up their stockings for presents from Father Christmas.

Many South Africans have a Christmas dinner in the open-air lunch. For many more, it is the traditional dinner of either turkey, roast beef, mince pies, or suckling pig, yellow rice with raisins, vegetables, and plum pudding, crackers, paper hats, and all. In the afternoon, families go out into the country and usually there are games or bathing in the warm sunshine, and then home in the cool of the evening. Boxing Day is also a proclaimed public holiday usually spent in the open air. It falls on December 26 and is a day of real relaxation.

In Ghana, on Africa's west coast, most churches herald the coming of Christmas by decorating the church and homes beginning with the first week in Advent, four weeks before Christmas. This season happens to coincide with the cocoa harvest, so it is a time of wealth. Everyone returns home from wherever they might be such as farms or mines.

On the eve of Christmas, children march up and down the streets singing Christmas Carols and shouting "Christ is coming, Christ is coming! He is near!" in their language. In the evening, people flock to churches which have been decorated with Christmas evergreens or palm trees massed with candles. Hymns are sung and Nativity plays are presented.

On Christmas Day, children and older people, representing the angels in the fields outside Bethlehem, go from house to house singing. Another church service is held where they dress in their native attire or Western costumes. Later on there is a feast of rice and yam paste called fufu with stew or okra soup, porridge and meats. Families eat together or with close neighbors, and presents are given.

On the west coast of Africa, in Liberia, most homes have an oil palm for a Christmas tree, which is decorated with bells. On Christmas morning, people are woken up by carols. Presents such as cotton cloth, soap, sweets, pencils, and books are exchanged. Also in the morning a church service is held in which the Christmas scene is enacted and hymns and carols are sung. Dinner is eaten outdoors with everyone sitting in a circle to share the meal of rice, beef and biscuits. Games are played in the afternoon, and at night fireworks light up the sky.
*Information provided by Santa's Net.


Candy Cane Poem

Look at a CANDY CANE, what do you see?

Stripes that are RED like the BLOOD shed for me!

WHITE for my Savior, Who's sinless and pure!

"J" is for JESUS, My Lord that's for sure!

Turn it around And a staff you will see ---

Jesus, my SHEPHERD, Is coming for me!


The LEGEND of the Candy Cane

A Candymaker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would help us remember who Christmas is really about. So he made a Christmas Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ.

    He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White to symbolize the virgin birth and sinless nature of Jesus. Hard candy to symbolize the solid rock, the foundation of the Church, and firmness of the promises of God.

    The candymaker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the name of Jesus. It also represented the staff of the "Good Shepherd".

    The candymaker then included red stripes. He used three small stripes and a large red stripe to represent the suffering Christ endured at the end of his life.

    The candy became known as a Candy Cane - a decoration seen at Christmas time. The meaning has faded, but still gives joy to children young and old, whom Jesus loves and treasures.



Leave Tiger alone!

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