Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

More traditions

Many families do the Santa thing.  When I was a child, I had learned that Santa had morphed from St. Nicholas and I knew that story.  But one year, my mother sewed Dad a Santa suit.   At my one room schoolhouse, we had a program for our parents and during the program, Santa appeared!  I thought, "My parents lied to me!  Santa IS real!"  But when he came to give me a gift, I saw the twinkle in his eyes and knew it was just my Daddy!

In my last post, I mentioned the tradition of how our family acts out the Christmas story.  That is the REAL reason for Christmas!

 Well, we do a little of the Santa thing too.  The grandkids just LOVE it!  Year after year!  After we act out the story, Papa says he has to go to the bathroom and he somehow slips out and gets dressed in the costume and appears at the door.  He hands out the stockings to everyone, then leaves.  Then Papa comes back to the room and pretends that he missed the whole thing!

A couple of years ago, the kids just followed Papa around to catch him in the act of changing into Santa.  "We KNOW it's you, Papa!"  So last year, we had our neighbor, Jeff surprise them and come as Santa.  That year, Papa didn't miss out!  We wondered what to do this year.

The kids were following Papa around, trying to make sure they could get him "going to the bathroom" to change.  But guess what?  Another Santa came!  (S)he came up the stairs with a
  HO HO HO! 
 And this Santa could speak Japanese!  Good thing because the gifts under the tree were labeled in Japanese!

What a delightful time we had with the gift giving!  We went youngest to oldest.  The person would pick out what gift they wanted to give away.  They would have to come to Nana to read the name in Japanese, and then they would give that gift to the person.  Sometimes, it was their own gift, and then they'd have to get a different gift because it was the giving that was important!

Bet this is the first time CSLewis  books were wrapped in princess wrapping paper!

 We gave the children some books.  A series from the Institute of Creation Research.  And this book.

 I've always thought it would be so neat to write a series of books for children about missionary kids around the world.  I was so glad to meet this author one day at our Christian book store and get her book!

The children gave us a few homemade crafts!

Claire wanted to help unwrap everyone's gifts!

Presents were put to use right away!

It didn't take too long to build his x-wing!

The very sad thing for us this year was that since Mindy changed job positions, she could not get the same time off as Josh's family.  Mindy came with her boyfriend Jason for Christmas.  We had dinner and they opened gifts from us and we did from them.  

Then we got a call that Josh's were on their way home from a ski trip to southern Colorado but a snowstorm was forcing them to return through Kansas instead of through Oklahoma so they were able to stop in for a couple of hours!  Not enough time for us to do the whole Christmas thing, but it was just enjoyable to be all together and for them to be able to meet Jason too.  

A cute gift that Mindy's gave to the grandchildren.

And then, Christmas was over for us in the first week of January.
These girls helped me undecorate.

Until next year!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A play

I suppose most everyone has some traditions at Christmas.  One of our family traditions is to act out the Christmas story.  We've done it for years!  This year was no different.  Hannah helped me write out all the characters we needed on slips of paper and we all drew names (except me.  I was the narrator).  If you didn't want the character you drew, you could trade with someone if they wanted to. But I don't think anyone did.

In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should be enrolled in the tax lists....since Joseph belonged to David's house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David's city, called Bethlehem, in Judea.  He went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage....

She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped Him snugly, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom.

Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night.  

The Lord's angel stood before them,..."Don't be afraid!  Look!  I bring good news to you - wonderful, joyous news for all the people!  Your Saviour is born today in David's city.  He is Christ the Lord."
Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God.
"Glory to God in the highest!!"

The shepherds said to eachother "Let's go right now to Bethlehem and see what's happened.....then the shepherds returned home, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.  Everything happened just as they had been told.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the territory of Judea during the rule of King Herod,

 magi came from the east to Jerusalem.  They asked, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews?  We've seen His star in the east, and we've come to honor Him."

....He sent them to Bethlehem saying "Go and search carefully for the child.  When you've found Him, report to me so that I too may go and honor Him."

When they saw the star, they were filled with joy.

They entered the house and saw the child with Mary His mother.  Falling to their knees, they honored Him.  Then they opened their treasure chests and presented Him with gifts....
Because they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back to their own country by another route.