Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The True Meaning of Christmas

I thought this story was a cute way to reconcile Santa and the true meaning of Christmas.  Someone gave it to me once upon a time and I just stumbled upon it.

The True Meaning of Christmas~~

Just a week before Christmas I had a visitor. This is how it happened. I just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed, when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door to the front room and to my surprise, Santa himself stepped out from behind the Christmas tree.

"What are you doing?" I started to ask.
The words choked up in my throat and I saw he had tears in his eyes.
His usual jolly manner was gone. Gone was the eager, boisterous soul we all know.
He then answered me with a simple statement . . .
I was puzzled. What did he mean?
He anticipated my question and with one quick movement brought forth a miniature toy bag from behind the tree.
As I stood bewildered, Santa said,
"Teach the children!

 Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. The meaning that now-a-days Christmas has forgotten. "Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a FIR TREE and placed it before the mantle. "Teach the children that the pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind, all the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man's thoughts turning toward heaven."

He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant STAR. "Teach the children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfillment of His promise."

He then reached into his bag and pulled out a CANDLE. "Teach the children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness."

Once again he reached into his bag and removed a WREATH and placed it on the tree. "Teach the children that the wreath symbolizes the real nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection."

He then pulled from his bag an ORNAMENT of himself. "Teach the children that I, Santa Clause, symbolize the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December."

He then brought out a HOLLY LEAF. "Teach the children that the holly plant represents immortality. It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Savior. The red holly berries represent the blood shed by Him.

Next he pulled from his bag a GIFT and said, "Teach the children that God so loved the world that he gave his begotten son." Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a CANDY CANE and hung it on the tree. "Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherds' crook. The crook on the staff helps to bring back strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother's keeper."

He reached in again and pulled out an ANGEL. "Teach the children that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior's birth. The angels sang Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will toward men."

Suddenly I heard a soft twinkling sound, and from his bag he pulled out a BELL,. "Teach the children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should ring mankind to the fold. The bell symbolizes guidance and return.

Santa looked back and was pleased. He looked back at me and I saw that the twinkle was back in his eyes. He said, "Remember, teach the children the true meaning of Christmas and do not put me in the center, for I am but a humble servant of the One that is, and I bow down to worship him, our LORD, our GOD."
~Author Unknown~

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I went with a totally different theme this year.  All silver and glittery.  Look at me getting all kinds of wild and crazy.


I attached the lighted garland using the same method as last year, but this time used wired silver ribbon to wind throughout, followed by silver organza fluffing out the top, and silver and gold balls wedged into the branches.

I have two sets of lights going on here--one woven in with the garland and another one on top/behind to make the mantel 'glow'.

When I pick a new decorating theme (any season, not just at Christmas), I pull out any of my accessories, large or small, that are the right color.  It doesn't matter if they were being used somewhere else, on the wall in another part of the house, whatever.  If it's the right color/feel, it's coming with me.  I put them all up on the mantel, then I  stand back and start arranging my favorite ones into interesting groups.  By interesting, I mean variety--tall/short, plain/intricate, big/small, light/dark, shiny/dull.  I try to make the negative space (the space around the things) as interesting as the positive space (the actual stuff).  You don't want everything to be in a big clump, all the same height.

Loving the change from my usual red Christmas (though I'll probably return to red next year).  And if J asks, yes, I already had all these ornaments.  I did a lot of glittery things--crystals, lots of silver snowflakes and deer and sparkly ribbon.  It made me a little sad to not have all the usual memory-filled ornaments on the big tree, but I let each of the kids decorate a smaller tree with them.

This is the old trunk that I fell in love with and bought myself for my birthday.  It's my new end table, and for now it's holding a silver lantern with a fake-lit candle.  I love the new against old.


Girlie's tree gets to be by the fireplace. 

My favorite thing in this picture is the little boy who is so patient with his mom, who is interrupting Dinosaur Train.

Usual garland and kissing ball.  I did Christmas red everywhere else, because, let's face it, I didn't have enough silver stuff to do the whole house.

I call these my Dr. Seuss trees, because they are so weird and fun.


I hung the stars up with straight pins so the holes wouldn't be too bad. 

I tied the garland to the railing by very thin yarn.  Then I wove in the berries and the jingle bells.  The bow had big twist ties on the back.


I put up lights indoor this year.  You can't tell, but they're actually medium sized round glass bulbs.  I feel like I'm adding a little 'cantina' to Christmas. :) It's just good fun.  Never mind the mess in the back.  Leftovers from a little dinner party last night and a honey nut Cheerios breakfast. 
Click HERE for 2010's decor and HERE for 2009 and HERE for 2008.