Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

We had the best Christmas possible under Covid, Zooming with family who would have been here and sharing time with family we haven’t spent Christmas with in years. Tonight we’ll be FaceTime-ing with friends from Illinois, then tomorrow is not only another day, but another year, something I know we’ve all been waiting for.

Our daughter had some time off and slipped out of California to visit us, although her husband had to stay home and work. So yesterday we drove to Queen Creek Olive Mill for some coffee and mother-daughter time before she headed back to the west coast.

The outdoor area is in an olive grove shaded by olive trees and where there are several Christmas tree-shaped trees guarded by two lions. The trees are decorated for Christmas, the lion thankfully not. But this lion doesn’t look too happy, probably because…

…with post-dawn temperatures in the upper 30’s it’s not exactly the African savanna and it’s a bit chilly sitting outside even with a hot mocha. These gas fires are very cheerful and look nice and warm, but we found that they really aren’t, so we sat on the covered patio which had standing heaters as well as heaters above us. It was so toasty we were able to take of our jackets and just enjoy our drinks. It was lovely.

Yes, the trees have olives, but don’t eat one off the tree. Until they’re cured and fermented, they’re very bitter as my husband discovered in Provence years ago when his sister gave him an olive right off the tree. Siblings!

Since meals and snacks are served here, there are crumbs and where there are crumbs, there are those who try to help clean them up, whether or not they’re being paid.

Relaxing in the sunshine (with additional heat as needed), enjoying time with my daughter while sipping a mocha topped with whipped cream, surrounded by cute little birds and stone lions, admiring the bougainvillea…life is good. Let’s pray that 2021 will be the same.

Arizona-style.

You were perhaps expecting…?

From Luke 2:

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

© janet m.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Merry Christmas and a 2021 filled with blessings!

When I was growing up, the children’s Christmas service was held on Christmas Eve. We worked for weeks memorizing our parts (no words put up on the back wall or sheets to read from) and at the end of the service, each child was given a brown paper bag filled with nuts (in the shell)an orange and an apple. There may have been some hard candy, too. I don’t remember. Then we would go home and open our Christmas presents. On Christmas Day, we’d drive to my grandparents’ farm for Christmas Day and Grandma’s amazing cooking.

My husband’s family opened all their gifts on Christmas Day, so our tradition eventually evolved into opening stocking gifts on Christmas Eve and the rest of the presents on Christmas Day. One present I enjoy all year long isn’t found under the tree. It’s the gift of having met all of you and today I’d like to share some of my favorite Christmas quotes. Of course for our family, this (and what I’ll share to tomorrow) are the Reason for the Season.

“And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans–and all that lives and move upon them. He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit and all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused–and to save us from our foolishness, from all our sins, He came down to earth and gave us Himself.”
― Sigrid Undset

This year is perfect for following the advice in the next two quotes!

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?”
― Bob Hope

“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.”
― Charles M. Schulz

“And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
the Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.”
― Roy L. Smith

“Oh look, yet another Christmas TV special! How touching to have the meaning of Christmas brought to us by cola, fast food, and beer…. Who’d have ever guessed that product consumption, popular entertainment, and spirituality would mix so harmoniously? ”
― Bill Watterson, The Essential Calvin and Hobbes

“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”
― Calvin Coolidge

“The reality of loving God is loving him like he’s a Superhero who actually saved you from stuff rather than a Santa Claus who merely gave you some stuff.”
― Criss Jami, Killosophy

“Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves.”
― Eric Severeid

And maybe for this year…

“No matter how much falls on us, we keep plowing ahead. That’s the only way to keep the roads clear.”
― Greg Kincaid

© janet m.

for One Word Sunday 12.20.20

Sunset

Posted: January 2, 2020 in Miscellaneous
Tags: , , ,

I tend to be up before the sun, literally, but sometimes I’m around when the sun sets. On Christmas Day, I needed a bit of time away and walked around the little lake near our house. This was the view that greeted me, perhaps photos I should have used for my December 31st post.

Luke 2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

© janet m. webb

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

I know today is Thursday and the doors I was going to feature are in my folder, but I just can’t do it.  They should have been done last night, but life has gotten too busy at the moment and when I realized this morning that I hadn’t gotten them into a post and that I don’t have time in the next few days to respond to comments or visit all the posts I want to see, I decided enough is enough.  Life has to be lived and work obligations met and especially in this season, I don’t want to be any more overwhelmed than need be.

So I’m taking a few days off, but leaving you with this shot from my Monday walk in the park.  It’s a sort of “light at the end of the tunnel” photo, in a place you’ve seen at least several times on the blog before, once with fog at the end, once with a deer and rabbit silhouetted halfway down.  Enjoy the beauty and the symbolism.  Take time to enjoy the season and I’ll see you soon.  Feel free to chat, as I’ll have a bit of time here and there to check and I’ll miss that.

© janet m. webb

The girls are home, I have one day of work left (today), and it’s almost Christmas.  That means it’s time to take a blogging break and enjoy the season.  I’m going to share a few of our Christmas decorations and wish each of you and yours the most merry and blessed Christmas you’ve ever had.  Count your blessings, hold your loved ones close, and take time to enjoy the season.  Thanks for being part of the blessings of my blogging life!  I greatly appreciate all of you.

© janet m. webb

Our nature tree

© janet m. webb

Part of the nature tree experience

© janet m. webb

Time for glitz and glitter

And of course, the real Reason for the season.

© janet m. webb

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

A few days ago, the sun shone in on my Thanksgiving gourds and pumpkins as well as on the pile of shimmery Christmas garlands waiting to be used, perfectly highlighting the change from Thanksgiving to Christmas, fall to winter. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  🙂

copyright janet m. webb