All the seasonal celebrating is in full swing. And while we have greatly "uncommercialized" our December ~ there are still lots of fun surprises throughout the month. We've been able to buy new clothes ~ that fit! Amy & I have been to Miss. Ballet's "Nutcracker" and Ballet Magnificats "Snow Queen". Will & James went to see the new "Hobbit" movie on its opening day. Gregs got a "grazing" day at work on Wed. Amy's had several cupcake orders. We had a fun visit with Mom. Our choir program is done for the season! And between the 18th & 22nd we've got 4 family birthdays to celebrate ~ James will be 30 on Wed.! Our new daughter, Jennifer celebrates her birthday on Wed. too. Then Rob & Andy will turn 26 on the 22nd! Happy Day to 4 of our blessings!
Rosie our "wild child" lab has been celebrating too ~ she attended a puppy party of Petsmart (corny I know, but if you went you got $10 discount on the next set of classes!) and "graduated" her first puppy class. She got the name Wild Child from the trainer at the store.
Its been interesting to listen to debates over the actual date of Jesus' birth, whether to celebrate or not, what kind of music to listen too, etc. Gregs done some research on the time of Birth ~ he has come up with sometime in Sept. ~ many reasons but here are a few ~ Jesus was born about 6 months after John the Baptist, John was born at Passover in the spring ~ the census would have waited till after the harvest so that the citizens had funds to pay their taxes ~ shepherds would not have been out in the fields watching their flocks by night in the winter time. And since the rulers were out to kill the newborn King ~ his birthdate would not have been widely advertised....
Here are some other interesting tidbits of info ~ the 3 wisemen were probably more of a band of 100's and they didn't show up at the stable or cave the night of his birth ~ he was probably about 2 years old. They followed His star for a long time. Mary was a young girl chosen by the Lord to carry His son ~ some accounts estimate she was as young as 12. She was a virgin at the time of conception & until Jesus' birth. But she and Joseph had other children after this event. The stable or cave He was born in was a nasty, stinky, animal inhabited area ~ quite a humble beginning for God becoming Man. Jesus was God, fully God & fully Man ~ confusing but true.
So where did all the other holiday trappings/traditions come from? Many came from the Catholic church ~ they decided to take the Winter Solstice celebration & pick that date/time of year as the time of the birth. The winter solstice time was a drunken, disorderly, mischief making time.They celebrated a Mass for that time called Christs Mass which later became Christmas. The decorating with evergreens (trees, wreaths) came from the ancient Druids. Santa came from many different stories/myths etc. You can easily find books or online resources that explain the origins of all the traditions.
For us, finding out some of the traditions that we held dear had such pagan roots really impacted our thinking. We prayed specifically for the Lord to show us what we should do. Our decisions are for our household ~ our children may or may not follow along, they have to make their own decisions. We have split up all our vast assortment of decorations between the kids that wanted them ~ many came from our first marriages & are important to the children as a link to their mom or dad. My decorations now fit into 2 upper cabinets in my kitchen ~ except for the large wooden nativity Greg made. We still love the music & some of the movies. The original Home Alone is hysterical because I could see James or Allen pulling those tricks on some crooks, White Christmas is beautiful ~ costumes, music, sweet storyline, The Nativity Story ~ a good interpretation of the events, and several others.
Do what works for you, don't be afraid to change, know that people won't understand drastic changes, don't expect others to do what you do, answer questions as best you can, rely on the Lord for His leading not on man.
Have fun with your family! Even if you do nothing to celebrate ~ spend time with your loved ones...unless you work at a hospital, fire station or police station...you are home from work. And if you go all out and celebrate to the fullest ~ have fun & stay safe!
I am thankful the Lord sent His Son to earth ~ to seek & to save His lost.