Christmas Card Quandary - 12/11/13

     Let's face it, most of us gripe about the commercialization of Christmas year after year.   75% off, but only at 5am.  Shopping on Thanksgiving.  One more gift under the tree, even though everything's already crossed off  the list.  "Holiday" trees on the town square.  Blow-up ice-skating penguins on the lawn.  We gripe, yet we're the very ones who get drunk on the sales and circulars.  Myself included.
     I really wish we could go back to the way it used to be when times were much simpler.  Kids had a stocking... a real sock.  It was filled with fruit, nuts and maybe a trinket or two.  There was no TV,  Iphone, Ipad, Droid, laptop, tablet, billboard or any other screen flashing bargain basement ads at us 24/7.   People actually turned their attention solely to their families and the Son of God.   To stay focused on those two things now during the Christmas season takes uncanny focus and deliberate decision-making. 
      Take our Christmas card this year for example.  You'll see it below.  (Sorry, it's sideways, I can't get the pictures to rotate.)   Anyway, I got on a website and uploaded some fun photos.  It was really cold that day, I think around 28 degrees.  I was in the mood for warmth and used all warm weather pics.  Then I typed the text,
"Warm Christmas Wishes From (our family)"    I love the card, but when it came, my husband was a little disappointed.  In big bold print on the part of the card that was already pre-designed, it says Happy Holidays.  Don't get me wrong.  For some, that message is fitting and I respect that.  For our family, Merry Christmas is our mantra.  I had gotten so caught up in choosing the best pictures and making it flow with the colors of the card, that I chose a card that doesn't really reflect the reason for the season.  Granted, I did include text that said Warm Christmas Wishes...  and am now busy writing Merry Christmas on the backs of all the cards too to right this personal wrong.  It's worked out okay as this is giving me an opportunity to write personal messages on the backs.  However, the point is... I got caught up in the card and the colors and forgot for a split second about the Christ. 
      One thing we started about three years ago to help our family stay focused is a bucket countdown.  It hangs on the mantle in the office and each day the kids dig in the little bucket and pull out something that relates to the real reason for the season.  Sometimes, it's a craft... other times, it's a scavenger hunt... all of it built around Jesus' birth. 
       Then, there are the poignant remarks from our kids which serve to keep us focused.  My daughter said not too long ago, "Mom, why do they put decorations out for the holiday two holidays before the holiday?"   This gave me a good opportunity to have an open dialogue about the commercialization of Christmas in elementary kid terms.  I love that she noticed that and that it bugged her.  
         One time in class, my son told his teacher that we always bake a cake for Jesus' birthday and sing Happy Birthday.  He went on to explain, "... but he didn't show up, so we just ate it." 
          Merry Christmas everybody.   I'm glad God sent a human form of himself to help us Christians better understand and relate to what we should be striving for.  I'm also glad I live in a free country where if you don't celebrate Christmas, that's okay for you.  I respect your beliefs and thoughts and I thank you for respecting mine.

 

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Last Update on October 30, 2014 09:16 GMT

FAKE OBAMA THREAT

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) -- President Barack Obama figures into a love triangle -- but not in THAT way. Federal prosecutors accuse a New York man of falsely reporting that his romantic rival planned to kill the president. Juan Medina of Yonkers, New York, is charged with making false statements. According to authorities, Medina called 911 to accuse the other man of planning an attack on the president. Secret Service agents didn't find any evidence of a plot. Prosecutors say Median was upset about a relationship between his girlfriend and the man he accused.

US CAPITOL CHRISTMAS TREE

CASS LAKE, Minn. (AP) -- It's not even Halloween -- but folks are already thinking about Christmas at the U.S. Capitol. A white spruce from Minnesota will become this year's Capitol tree. The 88-foot-tall tree from the Chippewa National Forest was cut down yesterday. Before hitting the road to D-C, the tree will be wrapped at a state university. WCCO-AM reports the tree will make 30 stops before it arrives in Washington in early December.

HOOKAH LAWSUIT-BURNED BREASTS

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- It's a case of hot coals in the cleavage. Katelyn Sobon is suing Philadelphia's Trilogy Nightclub and Hookah Lounge and its owner. Sobon charges people dancing around a stripper pole at the club knocked over a rickety table holding a hookah pipe. She says her breasts were burned by the flying coals from the pipe. She's seeking more than $50,000 in damages and says she may made need surgery for her scars. The Philadelphia Daily News quotes the owner as saying Sobon is "trying to make a quick buck."

NO SALE SIGNS-LAWSUIT

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- Is putting a "for sale" sign on your car protected by the right of free speech? Scott McLean thinks so. He was fined in Alexandria, Virginia, for violating a local ordinance that bans "for sale" signs on vehicles parked on city streets. McLean filed a federal lawsuit, claiming his constitutional rights are being violated. Now, the city says it will stop issuing tickets for those "for sale" signs. Officials say the ordinance will be reviewed and possible changes considered by the city council.

 

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