2008! Happy New Year!

Prayer for the New Year

Grant me the strength from day to day to bear what burdens come my way. Grant me throughout this bright New Year more to endure and less to fear. Help me live that I may be from spite and petty malice free.

Let me not bitterly complain when cherished hopes of mine prove vain, or spoil with deeds of hate and rage some fair tomorrow's spotless page. Lord, as the days shall come and go in courage let me stronger grow.

Lord, as the New Year dawns today help me to put my faults away. Let me be big in little things; grant me the joy which friendship brings. Keep me from selfishness and spite; let me be wise in what is right.

A Happy New Year! Grant that I may bring no tear to any eye. When this New Year in time shall end let it be said I've played the friend, have lived and loved and labored here, and made of it a happy year. - Edgar A. Guest

Since I've missed so many days blogging, I have added more after this post, please read the others below and see lots of photos!

Thank you for supporting me and visiting my blog, may you be very blessed this year, and enjoy your "Gift!" (Do you see the cross in the bow on the Gift?)


Outside Decor

How long do you leave your Christmas decorations up? Some leave their decorations up until January 6th (See my Advent Season post last week.) I always took mine down on New Year's Day, maybe for something to do while the men watched ballgames.

I added new outdoor decorations this year while my husband was in Colorado skiing (the week before Christmas) Since he had the digital camera with him I couldn't take pictures of it until he returned, then we left for SC, so I'm just now showing them. I may even leave them up until January 6th

Thank you for your interest, please leave a comment! And please do return soon!

(Above:) View of our Florida home with live bouganvillia cascading over the arbor.
I decorated with the over-sized ornaments, hanging them from the lanterns on each side of the garage with the palm trees close-by. Do you remember there were palm trees where Jesus was born? And no snow! It would have been much too cold in the stable!
I also hung them on the front door, they look pretty with the bouganvillia above.

Dreaming of a "Lite Christmas"

This year was a "Lite Christmas" for us. I did less this year than ever. I didn't do the usual baking of tons of cookies, but I did make our favorite Russian Tea Cakes, and Chocolate/Peanut Butter Fudge.

Usually I go over the top decorating. Every blank space is decorated - all rooms, including bathrooms. Tops of armoires, top of china cabinet, chandeliers, ETC. are all decorated! Not so this year, since we were going out-of-town and had no plans for visitors/parties here, we didn't need the decorations. But wait! I needed decorations! I couldn't have Christmas without my collection of Nativities on display. I even bought a few more Nativities this year. I'm still in the Nativity mode and hate to remove them. I usually leave at least one out all year.

Even though this was a "Lite Christmas" we still felt a real Christmas, and didn't forget it was Jesus' birthday! Caden even had a birthday cake for Jesus, a new tradition they will do yearly!

Even though Christmas is over, I'm going to share a few more Nativities I didn't show (because I didn't have my digi camera!) I hope you don't mind seeing more!
I bought the above Nativity this year at Walmart for $9.99. I like it because Mary is holding baby Jesus. Someone pointed out that Nativities with Mary holding her precious Baby are harder to find. I ended up buying four more of these and making them into gifts like this:

I don't affix my Nativities permanently because I usually change them each year. This year I displayed my Nativity on the family room coffee table like this:

Below is another Nativity I bought last year at Walmart for only $9.99.
Mary is also holding Baby Jesus here:
Last year I used it as the centerpiece on the dining room table using the large mirror (below:)
This year it is displayed on my Bombay chest, on a table runner, like this:
This year I displayed the Baby Angels and Baby Jesus in a tray like this:

If you think I have a lot of Nativities, go to Carrie's blog at Oak Rise Cottage and see the fabulous display she has, it is wonderful!

We're back!

We were gone all weekend, babysitting our granddaughter. I hope to get back to blogging regularly and especially to visiting all you fellow bloggers! I've missed my blogging routine! But we did have a wonderful Christmas, first with 16-month-old grandson, Caden, in SC, then with 16-month old granddaughter, Elisabeth, in Orlando this past weekend.

I'm sorry I didn't get to do comments on the Show and Tell, thank you for yours! For those who were interested - I bought the Mistletoe tea room and Victyorian couple at Walmart about three years ago. This year I purchased the carriage and the poinsettia vendor. The lamplighter is from Lowe's, purchased this year. Walmart had another carriage with a family in two seats, I regret not buying it too. The carriages were only $6.82, can you believe it?

Thank you for your interest, please leave a comment! And please do return soon!



Show and Tell - Tea Room Village Vignette

Time for Kelli’s Show and Tell, go to her blog for many more. Today I’m sharing my Tea Room Village pieces. I started with the Mistletoe Tea Room and add a few pieces each year. This year I added the carriage, the poinsettia vender, and the lamplighter.

I have also added my whimsical and angel Christmas trees if you would like to see them and show them to your children.

Thank you for your interest, please leave a comment! And please do return soon!


Whimsical Tree

I ran out of time before Christmas and we left town to be with family, but I'm posting my whimsical tree for the kids to see!

Thank you for your interest, please leave a comment! And please do return soon!


Angel Tree

Here's my angel tree. I painted several of the angels on the tree.

(Above) I painted the angel at the bottom with the pink dress and horn.
I also painted the angel head (below)
Below is an angel head made from a cotton ball and yarn, children can make these easily.
The angel at the bottom right, was handpainted by me (in the 70s) It has cotton at the bottom for a cloud.

Thank you for your interest, please leave a comment! And please do return soon!



The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days Of Christmas

Many people think that the twelve days of Christmas come before Christmas Day and lead up to it, but that is not the case. The period leading up to Christmas is the Advent season, not the Christmas season.

In the church, as in the synagogue, the day technically begins at sunset. Therefore, Christmas begins at sundown on December 24, which we call ‘Christmas Eve.’ The Christmas Season, which begins with Christmas Eve, ends on the eve of Epiphany, which is sundown on January 5. Therefore, Christmas lasts twelve days, and the period from sundown on December 24 to sundown on January 5 is called the Twelve Days of Christmas.

By this reckoning, Epiphany begins on the twelfth night after Christmas, so Epiphany was called Twelfthnight in England.

Do you know what the Christmas Carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas" means?

What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly, either in public or private. It was illegal to be Catholic until Parliament finally emancipated Catholics in England in 1829.

Someone during that era wrote this coded message as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. The hidden meaning of each gift was designed to help Catholic children learn their faith. The better acquainted one is with the Bible, the more these interpretations have significance.

The song goes "On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me...."

The true love mentioned in the song doesn't refer to an earthly suitor, but it refers to God Himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person

1st Day: The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ upon the Cross. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge because she would feign injury to decoy a predator away from her nestlings. She was even willing to die for them. The tree is the symbol of the fall of the human race through the sin of Adam and Eve. It is also the symbol of its redemption by Jesus Christ on the tree of the Cross.

2nd Day: Two turtle doves refers to the Old and New Testaments.

3rd Day: Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love, the three gifts of the Spirit that abide (1Cor. 13)

4th Day: The four calling birds refers to the the four evangelists who wrote the four gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke & John which sing the song of salvation through Jesus Christ.

5th Day: The five golden rings represents the first five books of the Bible, also called the Jewish Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

6th Day: The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

7th Day: Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit: Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership and Mercy.

8th Day: The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes listed in the Sermon on the Mount.

9th Day: Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control. (Gal. 5:22-23)

10th Day: The ten lords a-leaping represents the Ten Commandments.

11the Day: The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful apostles.

12the Day: The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief expressed in the Apostles' Creed: belief in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, that Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, made man, crucified, died and arose on the third day, that He sits at the right hand of the Father and will come again, the resurrection of the dead and life everlasting

So there is your history for today. This was in our church bulletin and I found it interesting and enlightening to know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol.

We returned home late tonight, had a wonderful Christmas celebration with our grandson, Caden, and his parents! I'll write more tomorrow!



The Christmas Teacup

The Christmas Teacup

“Grandma, why’s that teacup sitting’neath the Christmas tree?”
Amanda asked her Grandma, with eyes wide as they could be.
“Because, my child,” Grandma replied, “It’s a reminder of
The many ways God demonstrates His never ending love.

You see that pretty teacup was once just a lump of clay.
It yelped and cried as God Began to mold it one fine day.
Then, God placed it on a wheel that wildly spun around.
As the teacup cried with fear, ‘O Lord, please put me down!

But, the Lord said, ‘Not quite yet! Please trust me, if you will,’
As He gently placed the teacup deep inside a fiery kiln.
There the cup felt true despair, as flames around it burned.
She feared the Lord had left for good, never to return.

All at once cool air rushed in as the door opened wide.
God’s loving hands reached in to bring His precious cup outside.
Then, came strokes from a fine brush, dipped in God’s choice of paint.
Weak from the heat, engulfed in fumes, the teacup thought she’d faint.

Quietly, the teacup cried, ‘O Lord, what have I done?’
‘My child, I’m only finishing the work that I’ve begun,’
God said, and locked the cup again behind the over door –
Yet, from those flames she reemerged, a lump of clay no more.

Stronger and more beautiful, her purpose now defined,
The teacup sat in wonder as the Master’s name was signed….
Honey, Grandma whispered, “that teacup’s like me and you.
God has a special purpose for each struggle we go through.

So, let’s sit down and share a special cup of Christmas tea,
And thank the Lord for all He does to fashion you and me
Into the folks He had in mind since long before our birth –
The loved ones Jesus came to save when He came here to earth.”

May the Potter’s hand touch your life this Christmas and always.



Show and Tell - Tea Time Tree

Time for Kelli's Show and Tell. Today I'm sharing my Tea Time Christmas Tree. It is a table-top tree displayed on top of the yellow rose tea cart in the dining room. It has miniature tea pots and cups and saucers, plus other tea time things - vintage hankies, mini umbrella's, spoons, jewelry, etc.
Close-up of crystal, china, and cloisonne tea cups, and tea pot.

The ribbon candy is in the shape of a little tea pot.
Hand blown yellow rose ornament!

This little sparkly red bird was allowed on the tea tree too!
The green stripe tea pot (above) has pearl drops down to the tea cup.
Mrs. Potts, and Chip tea pot and tea cup from Beauty and the Beast.

A ceramic Santa tea pot
The pink trimmed ceramic tea pot is displayed on top of the kitchen cabinet.
Pointsettia ceramic tea pot
The gold trimmed ceramic tea pot is displayed in a vignette atop the china cabinet in the dining room. I hope you enjoyed seeing my Tea Time Tree and Christmas tea pots. I also have my other themed trees blogged - Santa, Snowman, and Nativities trees are below. I hope to post my angel tree, whimsey tree, and Victorian tree next (or maybe even after Christmas!)

My home is also on BooMama's Home Tour, posted below (on Monday) if you would like to tour our home! Thanks for visiting!