Season Reason The real one

Just a few short years ago (not really), we spent Christmas Eve (plus numerable other late nights) putting together toys, placing the proper stickers in the proper places, or other preparatory chores of love, getting ready for “The Big Night”, before “The Big Day”, Christmas day, when all those months of searching for just the right gifts, were greeted with huge grins, or squeals of joy, that expressed to us that we had done well. Those years were great, and we have great memories of the early morning paper ripping’s, and the smells of breakfast on the stove as the boys explored their new found treasures, and we made preparations to go to grandparents homes an start the package demolitions all over again.
Things change with time though. The boys are off with their own children now, doing similar things with them, as they did under our watch. Most of the grandparents have passed, and now Christmases are quieter, and much more spread out, instead of pretty much a one and a half day affair. We don’t begrudge the passing of the torches really, we just remember the younger days as maybe more “hands on” if you will, and find even a touch of pride in the fact that those feelings are presented to a new generation.
Although our personal Christmas “Season” has changed over the years, the purpose behind it, has not. We still celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus, the Christ child. We celebrate the fact that because a promise that God, the Father, made, thousands of years before, was finally fulfilled. We celebrate it for multiple reasons, one, because it proves that God keeps His word, and second, because today, we live under another promise, the promise that, because of the birth we so celebrate as Christians, we now know that through our faith in Him, and His eventual death on a cross, we shall have a forever home with Jesus, where life will never change, or we will never grow old.
Thank you God, and thank you Jesus, and “Merry Christmas“, to you Both, and an extended MERRY CHRISTMAS, to all my family and friends! May you find peace in the only one that can bring about, true peace, Jesus, the real reason, for this season!

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Christmas morning change.

   As we approach Christmas day, I asked on my Facebook page, for my friends to comment on favorite traditions, or tell of a special memory. I received several responses, with many of the same, yet unique versions, of a typical Christmas day. It brought back memories of the years when my boys were still at home, and some of the special things we did, at our house. Almost every memory brought a smile to my face but one, and this is the story as to why that one didn’t.

   For over twenty years, we all got up early (well,” I” woke “them” up before daylight, as early as 4AM, to be exact) on Christmas morning to “see what Santa” brought. We made them wait, so they could both go see what was under the tree together, while my wife and I watched to see their expressions as they viewed what was there. Most of the time, they were still half asleep, so it took a bit for the adjustment, and I was most often more excited, than they were! After the sleep began to fade, they came alive, and dived in, to find, and open presents. Later my wife’s parents came out for breakfast, and we did the usual flurry of package ripping, amid sounds of Christmas music and laughter. Then, we proceeded to get dressed after a bit, and go to my parents home, for the normal Christmas dinner, followed by, you guessed it, another round of the gift opening, with the same sounds as before. We sat around for a while, digesting the delicious meals prepared by my mother, and just talking. Then around five, we sat off to my wife’s parents for the third huge meal of the day, and then just sat around talking for a while.
   Like I said, this scenario went on, with minor variations, for over twenty years, and I loved every minute of them. Then came something I had never prepared myself for, change! The last Christmas before my youngest son got married, I was going to do my usual thing, but my wife said let them sleep in till they woke up on their own. It like to have broken my heart! I went on and got up, by myself, went into the living room, sat in a chair, and cried for the first time on a Christmas morning, because I knew that Christmas mornings, had just changed, forever.

   This change happened close to twelve years ago, but comes back each year, as if it were yesterday, and on occasion, I still cry. Not because I want back those days, but the feelings of that morning, are still there. Change is hard for us older folks, but it is a reality. My boys, whom I love dearly, and miss a lot, are grown, gone, married, and have kids of their own now, they both live in other distant states, and they’re starting traditions of their own, with their children, which they will find joy in, for many years to come, but, I wonder, if someday, on a future Christmas morning, they will get up, by themselves, sit in a chair, and cry, because, things have just changed forever.

Christmas, or Xmas?

   I keep hearing the phrase, “We need to put Christ back in Christmas”, by my fellow Christians, and after doing some research, I truly wonder if He was ever there to begin with! Almost every tradition related to today’s Christmas, was founded in some pagan belief. Most of which, were definitely not Christian, or Christ like!

   I fully understand the desire to keep the Christians attitude there, since I am a Christian.

 That attitude, to me, is, I celebrate that day, December 24th, as one special day, to remember that my Savior, Jesus Christ was born, for a specific purpose. That purpose was, to show us how a child of God should act, and a by far greater purpose, to die. Jesus came by His own choice, to be the perfect sacrifice for our sin, which man could never do for himself. In order to be that sacrifice, Jesus had to die, yes, but, the even greater thing He did, was to rise from the grave! He overcame death so we could enter Gods kingdom free from sin, to live for eternity in Heaven!

John 3:16-17King James Version (KJV)
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
 
 
Conclusion!

   Yes, I celebrate Christmas, along with many others, all of the “former” pagan traditions, like the tree, the wreaths, the gift giving, the lights, and candles, but, first and foremost, I celebrate His birth, with the knowledge of what He did, at His death!

   People may say or do as they wish, but I will always say “MERRY CHRISTMAS”, because, He will “always” be there, to me, for me, and with me!

Joshua 24:14-16
King James Version (KJV)
14Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
15And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
16And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Christmas tradition 2011

I have NEVER forwarded an email. Not one. However, I received this in my email this morning and wanted to pass it on. I’m not sure of the original author, but I wish to express my gratitude for it anyway!
Holiday Season 2011

Birth of a New Tradition

… As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high
gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods —
merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This
year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine
concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift
giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes
there is!

It’s time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in
a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?
Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates
from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some
health improvement.

Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned
detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a
book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down
the Benjamen’s on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift
receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or
driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants — all offering gift
certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about
a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this
isn’t about big National chains — this is about supporting your home town
Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or
motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a
local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is
struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin
their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery
and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave
your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at
your hometown theater.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese
lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about
fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to
burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that
China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about
US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow
their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our
communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine.

THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

Forward this to everyone on your mailing list — post it to discussion
groups — throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in
your city — send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations,
and TV news departments. This is a revolution of caring about each other,
and isn’t that what Christmas is about?

This, and the celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Hollidays!


While the candy is still being sorted through in the bottom of the bowl from Halloween, (leaving the least favorite for last, but to be consumed anyway), the rush to get our hard earned dollars first seems to ramp up faster each year. I remember the days as a youth, when Christmas seemed to take forever to even be talked about, let alone get here. While I fully understand the desire by retailers to be the first to grab my money, I wish they would at least have the consideration to do each Holliday in the order it comes on the calendar! To forgo the etiquette of the calendar is unforgivable! Leave us alone to finish our Halloween candy first, eat our turkey, that’s still in the freezer, or grocery store, and finish out Thanksgiving naps, and ball games, loosen our belts, and burp, before bombarding us with “THE DEAL OF THE CHRISTMAS SEASON”!!!
No, I’m not a Scrooge, I just like to breathe between spending sprees, and finish taking down the decorations from last year, before starting it again!! “/