Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!!
Category Archives: Christmas Traditions
I had no idea that for years my husband has been a man on a secret mission. That is I didn’t know until he let the cat out of the bag. As my husband and I were talking about Christmas gifts and shopping lists it was revealed that for years he has been a man on a mission,a secret mission to make sure one of the first gifts under the tree was for me.
At some point in our many Christmas’ together I off-handedly mentioned that in all the gifts that were under the tree my name wasn’t on a single present. I do not remember the exact conversation but I am sure I was joking…However, the Hubs heard it and interpreted it to mean something that he took as a personal challenge. So, for years he has made sure to be the first one to place gifts under the tree.
I want you to know that no sooner had this little bit of information been revealed I became a woman on a mission…I wanted to join in the fun!
In my defense..I am not a last-minute shopper, or a gift wrap slacker…It’s just that I like to have the majority of my gifts purchased before settling in to do my wrapping. Therefore, I rarely have my gifts wrapped and under the tree first. That is until…this year…This year I became a woman on a mission…a mission to place the first gift under the tree! Even if there is only ONE gift under the tree…I bought it, wrapped it and ran to put it under the tree as the Hubs came through the door…I did it, I put the first gift under the tree. Guess who its for…no not me…its for the Hubs!
It looks like a new tradition has been born…Not only is there a man on a mission but now there is a woman on a mission. So let the fun and games begin!
Are you already thinking about packing up your Christmas decorations? I am not quite ready to tackle that project just yet. However, I have been thinking about a few things…Keeping the Spirit of Christmas with me through the year…Long live Christmas!
I have been thinking about how much I love this time of year and what it would be like to keep Christmas close at hand every day of the year.
What might that look like?
Christmas lights up on the house for the 4th of July…Christmas decorations sitting dusty in every room of the house…and jingle bells playing on the radio at Halloween. I guess there are people who love the Christmas Holiday so much they would consider embracing these ideas. But I think NOT!
However, what I am thinking about is the Spirit of Christmas…the Spirit of love and laughter, the Spirit of giving…the Spirit of Peace on Earth and goodwill toward mankind.
Here is someone who I think keeps the Christmas Spirit in his heart day after day, year after year and now even decade after decade. Meet the Bicycle Man of Fayetteville, North Carolina.
For 20 straight years, 72-year-old Moses Mathis has been playing Santa Clause to Fayetteville area children. In the past 2 years he has given away 2300 bicycles! Mr Mathis accepts donated bicycles and restores them to give away at Christmas to families that can not afford to purchase them. He says that as long as he has a building to work in he will continue to do this.
Why does he do it? He carries the true Spirit of Christmas in his heart. He doesn’t unpack it from a box in late December. He keeps it with him always! Working diligently throughout the year like one of Santa’s elves…getting the bicycles ready for the big day in December when he gets as much joy from giving the gifts as do the children who receive them.
“To see the smiles, the kids’ laughter, the hugs, the kisses. That’s why I do it.,” he said.
I won’t be packing up the Spirit of Christmas with my forever tree and all the decorations…instead I will pack it deep in my heart and carry it with me through 2012. Loving, giving, sharing and rejoicing every chance I get. I imagine it will make an amazing difference in my Spirit!!!
Long Live the Spirit of Christmas!
- CHRISTmas is not Politically Correct (tobytruckwriterbogard.wordpress.com)
Christmas cannot be all that we want it to be. It’s only a holiday.
Christmas cannot bring harmony to your home.
Christmas cannot bring peace on earth.
Christmas cannot bring happiness.
But Christ Himself can do all of this and more.
That is really what we are longing for deep… inside.
• Not Christmas, but Christ.
• Not merriment, but the Messiah.
• Not goodwill, but God.
• Not presents, but His presence.
Anything or anyone short of this will disappoint.
But God never will.
That’s what I want for Christmas–Jesus Christ.
Taken from the Greg Laurie Daily Devotion
- Merry Christmas! (driftyalison0space.wordpress.com)
- Peace for Christmas (lifereference.wordpress.com)
- This Christmas, Don’t Let Jesus Distract You from Jesus (pjcockrell.wordpress.com)
- Why He Came (joyofthemaster.wordpress.com)
Music Moves Me…Louisiana Christmas Day Video is as close as this nolagirlatheart will get to being home for Christmas. This song is sung by Aaron Neville a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. I thought the pictures chosen by LaLeroux captured the essence of a New Orleans Christmas; the St.Charles Streetcar, The Balconies, The Horse Drawn Carriage, The River Road Bonfires, The Alligator Santa Clause and Mr. Bingle the Maison Blanche department store icon and the St. Louis Cathedral. It all reminds me of my beloved NOLA.
Joyeux Noel de Cajun!!!
I have so many wonderful Christmas memories from my childhood in Louisiana…however, this particular memory is not specific to me or my family alone. This memory is shared with thousands of South Louisiana Families. It is the lighting of the Christmas Eve Levee Bonfires.
Once few in number, the local bonfires were originally a neighborhood or family oriented activity. Now they line the levee for miles and attract thousands of visitors. The event has had local and national television coverage and has been featured in metropolitan newspapers and magazines. Through the years, there has been an intermingling of facts and fantasies concerning the origin of the bonfire tradition.
One of the more recent and increasingly popular explanations is that the bonfires were a “Cajun tradition”, first used to light the way for “Papa Noel”, the Cajun version of Santa Claus. This charming version, although improbable, has been depicted annually in front of a Paulina, LA business establishment where a levee scene shows “Papa Noel” with his pirogue drawn by alligators named Gaston, Ninette, “Te-Boy”, Celeste, Suzette, etc.
The building of the each bonfire takes dozens of individuals and weeks to assemble. There is an official announcement made around 7pm on Christmas Eve giving the go ahead to light the bonfires which happens simultaneously. The bonfires light up the Mississippi River and burn for hours and some will burn into the wee hours of Christmas morning. Friends and family gather together to wait and watch for Papa Noel to make his way along the river making his deliveries to all of the good little children.
I hope this YouTube video will give you a glimpse into the Louisiana Christmas Tradition…Lighting of the Bonfires! Joyeux Noel!!!
Information gathered from St James Parish home page.
I was talking with my sister the other day and she was sharing a few memories from one of her first Christmas’ spent living away from home. She shared with me how when she puts up one of her Christmas trees it reminds her of a Christmas long ago and far away. Our conversation got me thinking about things…like what Christmas is and isn’t.
Christmas is not… only about a big tree loaded down with expensive store-bought ornaments. It is not only about what you can buy at the big box store. It’s not even how many gifts are wrapped up and nestled under the tree. It’s not about decorating your house to look like Christmas exploded on your front lawn.. It’s not about parties, presents or plates piled high with pastries…Christmas is not a lot of things.
But Christmas is…about the memories of Christmas’ past that come flooding back when you begin unpacking boxes of old ornaments collected over the years. It’s the memories that are attached to a special ornament or two that make you feel a bit melancholy or nostalgic. For me it’s the hand embroidered ornaments made by my Mom when she was recovering from back surgery. The detail is incredible, the colors are still vibrant after all these years and they remind me of how much she loves her family. I also have a few handmade ornaments from my sisters and mom that bring a smile to my face every year when I unwrap them and hang them on the tree. When I hold these ornaments in my hand and look at them it’s almost as if they are right here with me in the moment.
For my sister her memories are attached to a box of $1 store ornaments that remind her of her first Christmas starting out as a family and funds were tight. The ornaments remind her that the joy on Christmas Day does not come with an expensive price tag…she remembers a Christmas when the toys purchased at the general store brought the same kind of joy to her childs face on Christmas morning just as if they had come from an expensive retailer. When my sister was unpacking her special ornaments she was also reminded of a wonderfully happy day spent in 4 story mall where all the shopping that was done was window shopping because that’s what they could afford. These special ornaments also reminded her of coming home to find a box of groceries on the front porch complete with everything for Christmas Dinner and how a tradition of sharing Holiday meals with Friends began…
Unpacking ornaments is a great way for us to unpack the memories of what Christmas is really all about…making memories with loved ones that can carry us through the coming year.
How cute are these little guys…Pumpkin Snowmen Welcome You to our Home this Christmas!!!
Back in early October I ventured into Houston to the open air produce market to purchase my heirloom pumpkins as well as my seemingly ordinary pumpkins. I really love mixing the different types and shapes of pumpkins to create an interesting look for Fall. They really welcome the season the changing season without having to go all out. However, I like the pumpkins so much I always have a difficult time disposing of them when its time to put the Christmas decorations up. This year I stumbled on a crafty blogger who had a stellar idea on extending the life of her pumpkins.
Coco Chanel once stated that “Imitation is the highest form of flattery” so I hope Stephanie over at Under the Table and Dreaming will be flattered should she happen to see that I borrowed her wonderful idea.
- 2011 Christmas Home Tour…Welcome to our Home (nolagirlatheart.wordpress.com)
I have noticed something about my musical prefrences…I like duets. I especially like it when artists from different genres combine their talents and create a whole new musical experience. This may be one of the first duets of this type that I remember from my childhood. I hope you enjoy it!
Bt the way, is it just me or do David and Bing look like they could be a couple of Santa’s elves?
- When Bowie Met Bing: ‘The Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth’ (fresh1027.radio.com)
- Today’s Holiday Tune: The unique pairing of David Bowie and Bing Crosby on Little Drummer Boy (pinkbananaworld.com)