... Even the worst heartaches can become heartstrings to God's hope, comfort, encouragement, joy, peace and love...

Welcome! As a fan of the cartoon character Maxine, I enjoy her witty remarks. But when I
read my blogs & other writing to her, she's not very responsive- even when I'm wearing my bunny slippers like hers! She just doesn't get it!
Although she's funnier than I am, I do pray that this site will bring encouragement to your day! I'd love to hear from you! Unlike Maxine, you can leave me a message via the Comments. Shalom, Connie


Monday, December 12, 2016


Today I added a bit of Christmas atmosphere to my apartment. Each item triggers memories of special times and traditions. I’d like to share a few with you.

I display this figurine each December:    

I bought it after attending a Christmas Eve mass thanks to a personal invitation from Mr. and Mrs. Claus. At the appointed time, the Clauses (my friends, Ray and Ethel) came down the aisle to the delight of all the children (no age limit). The church was filled with the sound of jingle bells ringing as Mrs. Clause carried a large birthday cake for Jesus. Santa shook his sleigh bells and filled the sanctuary with his “Ho, ho, ho!”

They stood before the priest and he blessed their night’s journey. Santa turned toward us with his fingers to his lips. “Shhh-hhhh.” And all the bells stopped ringing.

In the silence full of anticipation, St. Nick reminded everyone that the giving of gifts began when God sent His only son to earth as a wee baby. Three little kings marched down the aisle with their “jeweled” boxes- birthday gifts for Jesus, as Santa reverently climbed the altar steps and knelt before the manger. The lights dimmed as we sang “Away In the Manger”. When the lights came up, Santa was gone. A spotlight was on the baby in the bed of hay.

No further words were needed. Father Fitz just nodded and the children with their families filed out singing Happy Birthday to Jesus.

The holiness of that moment has never left me. I relive it each December.

To further recapture that feeling, my preparation with anticipation or Advent devotions this year are from Michael Card’s Immanuel: Reflections on the Life of Christ  and The Faith of St. Nick  by Ann Nichols.

Nichols wrote, “If ever the life of a Christian reflects the Lord’s, it was the one we refer to as Saint Nick. It was his faith in Jesus Christ that enabled him to do the many deeds of mercy, charitable acts, and wonders that we, nearly 1700 years after he lived, are still familiar with.”  (See http://www.stnicholascenter.org.)

My traditions include listening- sometimes, singing along- to the complete Messiah. I sang it in the community Chorales for many years. I also was in the choir that presented the premier performance, directed by the writer, of “A Song… A Star... A Son.” Both masterpieces portray the announcement by the angel Gabriel to Mary through Christ’s resurrection. His birth is meaningless with the resurrection. Is there any wonder why the audience stands during the Hallelujah Chorus !  

While resting I watch Christmas movies and read Christmas mysteries.When Christmas Day arrives, I read Ken Gire’s “An Intimate Moment with Mary and Joseph” from Moments with the Savior. It never fails to touch my heart.

What do you do to set aside the busy-ness of the season and focus on the real reason we celebrate?

This year Hanukkah starts at sunset on Christmas Eve. It is a festival of hope. One that Jesus himself celebrated.*  I will also light the Christ candle on Christmas Eve as a reminder that God always supplies our needs and that we can diminish the darkness as a reflection of His light. We don’t need three spirits to visit us… just His love within us.

My family will join me to play the Dreidel game, even though I’m a terrible spinner. We'll recount the traditional story of winning a losing battle, a one-day supply of oil lasting eight days, and studying Scripture by “gambling.” A fun game for Jesus' birthday party.

Now back to my knitting, I've a few small gifts to finish. 

I'll post some more memories in the next post. May my thoughts draw you nearer to the Christ Child.

Selah ~ 




* Read John 10:22–23 and for more detail see http://www.whychristmas.com/customs/hanukkah.shtml.

No comments: