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Merry Christmas Letter
December 23, 2013
The Stockings were hung by the Chimney with care.
(Icy tree in my yard.)
I'm sitting here with the Lovebirds walking on my back and shoulders.
Out of the cages, they are fine together, they groom and play with each other (when they aren't messing with me).
This weekend blessed us with two separate episodes of ice and freezing rain.
This was one monster system.
Tornadoes, floods, ice,and snow.
Prayers and special thoughts to all.
Because of Friday's ice, Bobo's Vet. Appointment was rescheduled.
He has found a way to pluck, with the modified hood.
I'll keep you posted.
Caring and feeding for our backyard birds can be a challenge in adverse weather.
Thank you for your time and caring.
The birds thank you too.
Christmas cookies are all made and decorated.
Yes, I bake all the cookies (recipes handed down for generations).
Ladies, what is with all of the throw pillows and stuffed animals?
Especially for this time of year.
It takes me five minutes (exaggerating) to move pillows and teddybears, just so I can sit down somewhere.
(I'm not exaggerating about the bed, however.)
Get up for a few seconds, and they find their way back into my sitting spot.
It's bad enough the rest of the year, but for a six week period, it drives a guy batty.
Surely some of the guys out there can feel my frustrations.
As promised, we have some Christmas traditions to pass along.
You also get my Christmas letter (such as it is).
We only have four Christmas traditions to share this time.
I understand it is a hurried time of year and all too often we get caught up in the moments.
I think God wanted me to write a Christmas letter after all this year.
Wanda from Radcliff, Kentucky:
I have enjoyed your newsletter for a number of years. One of my favorite Christmas traditions is about ornaments for my tree. I purchase a new one for myself every year and I also buy new ones for my children and grand children. I started this tradition when my oldest child, my daughter, left home. My intent was to help her build her ornaments up so that when she had a home and a tree, she would have a nice set of ornaments to decorate with. I have continued the tradition with my grandchildren. When my children were at home, we would open one gift on Christmas Eve.
That tradition got started as a compromise to get them to go to bed on Christmas Eve.
Thank you Wanda, we all need some traditions to look forward to.
Martie is from the Buckeye state, Ohio:
For years I have wrapped gift cards, small items of sort in soup, snacks, just any kind of box-just to see the initial look on their face is worth it. Of course, they are all wise to me now, but I still do it. It is fun.
On a serious side, the past 10 years, I have printed stationary off the internet, and wrote a letter from Santa to the grandchildren. I make it very personal in what they do, like and have done. It is so nice to see them so excited when they get the letters. We have went to my family's for Christmas for 43 years. We go Christmas Eve, and have a wonderful dinner, fun, and laughter. We have a small family, but a lot of fun.
Christmas day the kids go off to other homes then come back at 6, and then we have a nice houseful here, good food, gifts and just a super time.
Martie, it looks like you take that extra step to insure a good time for all.
Thank you for sharing.
Becky Stockum of Coshocton, Ohio:
When the dearest, sweetest little granny in the whole world, Chlora Norris, died several years ago, I found this little mailbox that had been made of plastic canvas with red, white & green cross stitching on it. (One of her nieces had made it & given it to her.) We decided to give it to another family member for Christmas & it was to be passed on each year----even if the gift we were giving wouldn’t fit into the mailbox-----we would attach it to the gift or tell them where to look for it. And there is a folded list inside the mailbox that tells who the gifter & who the recipient has been every year.
There are 3 grand-daughters & a grandson plus spouses who have had the fun of participating in this. No matter what the gift is, or who it may be from, Granny is always remembered & there with us.
Becky, that is awesome, a gift that keeps on giving.
A special tradition indeed.
Christa from Central South Dakota:
I am from the southern part of Germany. Several weeks before Christmas we would look forward to the special Christ kindles Market. Lots of wooden both wonderful items mostly handmade to decorate the tree or gifts to buy. The Christmas angel would open the Market every year with a poem & music very festive. In the evenings lots of lights. Christmas Eve the Angel of Christmas brought the tree arriving ringing a bell. I would have to wait till it was all done & walk into the room with only candles lit on the tree. Walked to the manger and said a prayer, and sang some songs. Only than could I look at my presents. At midnight we would go to Church. I treasure the memories I have from that time.
Thank you Christa for sharing something special from the homeland.
Traditions and memories are treasures to be passed on.
Always remember, there is a Christ in Christmas.
At the Patterson House:
A couple of traditions passed on from my parents and to kids and grandkids.
My mom and dad would place their Christmas card for each other in the tree.
Only to be opened on Christmas morning.
Karen liked the idea and here we are.
Another tradition is to keep the Christmas tree and other Christmas light on over night (Christmas eve through Christmas morning).
Mom would tell us "it lights the way for the Christ Child'.
I know better, but it's a tradition, and it sounds pretty cool.
As always, I will take some time off and see you again next year (Lord willing).
This gives me some much needed time to spend with my God, and my family.
Sneak in some football (overload).
And recharge the batteries.
Writing this letter is a labor of love, but time intensive.
I am blessed to have a chance to get to know so many people across the globe.
Merry Christmas to All of You.
How many times I have my own agenda, but God prompts me to write something else.
This year is no exception.
I know, I will step on some toes.
I have done this gig long enough to realize several readers will cancel.
Freedoms of choice are a good thing, aren't they?
God has chosen to love you and me.
No matter what.
His desire is that all humans come to love Him and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
He will spend your lifetime pursuing you, but He wont force you.
That is true love.
That is the perfect gift.
A God that loves us so much, He gives us the freedom of choice.
He gives us the choice to love him or reject him.
All the time He sits by patiently while we hurt him.
Yet, He still loves us and calls to us by name.
He wants us to come to Him because we want to, not because he wants us to.
Yet, He could've have created us to love him no matter what.
Kind of like a machine.
In all of His wisdom, God knows that isn't true love.
You and I both know, you can't make someone else love you.
No matter what you do, or can offer them.
Love is a choice.
An act of our will.
One of God's many acts of love was to give us Jesus.
Through Jesus He promises eternal life and promises "He will forgive our wickedness and remember our sins no more". (Hebrews 8:12)
For the Christian world to celebrate the birth of Christ.
December 25 was the chosen day.
A day to be called CHRISTMAS.
To have Christmas celebrations, not holiday celebrations.
I am tired of it.
It's not a holiday tree.
They aren't holiday lights.
Nor are they holiday cards or holiday gifts.
It Is CHRISTmas.
Christmas trees, Christmas lights and cards.
It is called that for a reason.
Christ is the reason for the season.
Our forefathers came to America to get away from such afflictions.
For freedom of religion and speech.
In old Europe, it was the church that governed.
Now it is our government telling us what we can and can't say.
The name Christmas is offensive to others.
We must be politically correct.
Well, where are the rights of Christians?
It is very offensive to me, when it is called a holiday tree, or a store clerk must say happy holidays.
Where are the rights of Christians?
God's Army, we must take a stand.
I live in a multi-cultural, multi-religion neighborhood, and indeed city.
That's great, America and most of North America for that matter, is a place of opportunity and free from oppression.
That is, unless you are a Christian (though my neighbors don't make a stink).
That is great, but expect to learn our language, our laws, our ways of life.
(Not my religion, unless you choose.)
Teach me some of your cultures and ways of life.
Allow me learn, and be your friend and neighbor, (we are after all, the melting pot of the world).
But, don't you dare take away my freedoms, and expect me to change The ways of my home land.
But then again....................
Isn't that the fault of our politicians and the over liberal media?
Freedoms that millions have fought and died for to win and preserve.
How does the saying go?
"When in Rome, do as the Romans do".
If I moved to a foreign land, I would expect myself to learn the language, the laws and the customs.
In some countries I would be persecuted or killed for my beliefs.
You are free to choose.
Then, politicians all but sell their soul for a vote.
Take God out of the equation.
It will offend others.
This offends me.
God's people, we have stood quiet for too long.
Allow me to worship and have my religious or faith special days.
Allow me to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Allow me to worship the Trinity.
If you don't want to believe in Christ, that is your freedom of choice, because you live in a wonderful country (USA, or Canada).
It's not okay to take it away from me.
It's fine that you may have Hanukkah, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, or any other special day.
America allows you these freedoms.
If you choose to not believe.................
I'll pray for you.
If you are a Druid and want to worship trees..............
Have at it.
Remember that God made that tree.
Non believers, I have a couple of questions.
Do you reject the Christmas bonus at work (if you get one)?
When you are offered a paid day off for Christmas, Are you offended by it and insist on returning the pay, or better yet...... work that day?
I didn't think so.
Christmas is a very special day in the Christian world.
It is a celebration of the birth of our Savior.
It is my right.
My freedom of choice.
To love and worship the King.
After all, he loved us first.
Christmas is a time of joy and sharing.
Giving, not just gifts, but of ourselves.
Kind of what God wanted from his people.
Love and peace.
We all know what love is, but do you know the peace that Jesus talks of?
The bible isn't referring to the passive, walk all over me kind of peace.
I'll give in just to have peace in the family.
No, no, no.
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
The Hebrew word for peace, “shalom,” is often used in reference to an appearance of calm and tranquility of individuals, groups, and nations.
The Greek word eirene means unity and accord; Paul uses eirene to describe the objective of the New Testament church.
But the deeper, more foundational meaning of peace is the spiritual harmony brought about by an individual’s restoration with God.
Jesus never promised easy.
He only promised help.
In fact, Jesus told us to expect tribulation (John 16:33) and trials(James 1:2).
But He also said that if we called on Him, He would give us the “peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension” (Philippians 4:6-7).
No matter what hardships we are faced with, we can ask for a peace that comes from the powerful love of God that is not dependent on our own strength or the situation around us.
Jesus Himself said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
Peace doesn't mean a life without troubles.
Peace doesn't mean we have to be walked on either.
God's peace is knowing we are wrapped in his arms and not of this world.
God doesn't promise us a perfect life on earth, but a perfect life in heaven.
I don't have to stand back and be walked over.
My peace allows me a comfort and the right to stand up for what I believe.
If you know your bible at all, you know that Jesus was not a wimp.
He was not to be walked on.
Jesus did more to stir up issues and free the oppressed.
He not only freed us from sin and death,
He also healed and set people free.
Stuff that the law of that time saw fit to kill him.
And my Lord did everything to accommodate the foolish, and to set me free.
Yes, there is a reason for Christmas and the season.
The name above all name.
Well, it is time to fly for now.
I wish everyone of you and your family a Very Merry CHRISTMAS.
And the angel said unto them,
for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy,
which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David
"Treat the earth well:
It was not given to you by your parents,
It was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our
Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."
Ancient Indian Proverb
Your friend indeed,
Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.
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