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 20, 2014 09:08 GMT

MANNING RECORD - KEEP-AWAY

DENVER (AP) -- It was a game of keep-way -- with Peyton Manning's record-breaking football. Manning set the new mark in NFL career touchdown passes last night against the San Francisco 49ers. Manning's teammates had a little fun with him after throwing TD 509. When Manning went to get the ball, his fellow Broncos played keep-away. Manning jokes his teammates were picking on him. Manning finally did get the ball, but he didn't get to hold it very long. It's going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Manning threw another TD for a total of four, in the Broncos 42-17 victory at home.

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URINATION ARREST

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- It's not the place to answer a call of nature. Police in Madison, Wisconsin, report busting a guy for peeing on a police car. Officers say they saw a 21-year-old man relieving himself on a marked patrol car near a bar Saturday night. A police statement notes several people warned the man the cops were coming, but he didn't stop. Police say he resisted arrest and ran. But officers later found the man hiding behind a building. He now faces a number of charges including disorderly conduct and resisting police.

(Stations: note nature of above)

TEEN CANDIDATE

DACONO, Colo. (AP) -- If Jory Coates wins a city council seat -- he'll have to toast his victory with soda pop. At 18, Coates is old enough to vote but not to drink. He's running for the Dacono, Colorado, City Council. He's a recent high school graduate and works in a pizzeria. He's funding his campaign with about 100 bucks he's made at his pizza job. Coates is using the money to buy signs and posters. But Coates isn't sure his future is in politics. He tells the Longmont Times-Call he also wants to study to become an emergency medical technician or a nurse.

BEE HOBBY

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) -- Michele Boling says she has a healthy respect for boxes full of bugs. She better -- because Boling is an amateur beekeeper. Her hives in Bowling Green, Kentucky, produce honey and beeswax. She says in the two years since she got her first hive, beekeeping has moved from a hobby to a passion. She tells a local paper (Daily News), she sometimes wishes that people were more like bees. Boling says bees are never out for themselves but only for the good of the hive.

 
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