How are you Spending Christmas?

Hello blogging friends,

I am sending you Merry Christmas wishes and praying you are having a good time so far for the holidays. I myself am visiting with my family and will shortly begin to prepare our traditional breakfast waffles before putting in the bird for the dinner later in the day. We are not extravagant in our meal as we once were when my mother was well and able to prepare food. She was well known for hosting large dinners annually for the relatives. It was a bit of an open house at our home every year as children growing up. We always had many drop in guests on Thanksgiving Day, Easter, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

Those days may be gone but mom still likes to host the gathering at her home with me doing the preparations and cooking. I am able to help her in this way to keep her connection as strong as she can as our family is no longer very large and we live far from most relatives.

I am grateful I can provide this support to my family at these special times of the year. This year will be somewhat poignant as mom is not well and she will go into a nursing home in order to get more daily support and overall help.

One of my own personal traditions is remembering those who are not able to have a Christmas full of food, gifts and goodies. I have several places where I like to help a bit and bring some cheer. Recently I took a visit to Kenya. There I distributed some small food items to widows in several villages. You would not believe how HAPPY they were. It warmed my heart so much. I wish I could have done a lot more for these precious people.

Here are a few photos of that special day.

Being led into one of the village homes by the ladies.
Greetings are being made as we settle into the cooking hut.

A widow leads us in prayer.

Waiting for the program to begin.  I don't have all my photos uploaded yet of all the day's activities.  I wish I had one for you now showing the actual food distribution. But I will add more photos later when I get back to  my own home.  These are some of the widows and orphans who were assembled.

The following photos were added December 28, 2010

The widows speak.
A local leader who supports the widows self-help group. He acted as my translator.
The chairwoman of the widow's group smiles broadly after receiving her gift of food.
The secretary of the women's group receives her food.
Widows and orphans gather around and sing a song of happiness during the food distribution.
See the smiles. I was told that they were singing about how God is good and had not forgotten the widows at this time of Christmas.
Here the widows pack up the food and children and head home. Some of them headed to the food that had been prepared for us.
It was a wonderful day there in the village near Kericho, Kenya. I would like to go back again and do more of this kind of work as God enables and blesses me. This distribution of food came about because of the Jiko Stove Project I was working on. You can read more about the project here.

  I'd love to know how you are spending your Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas to each of you. May you find a special day wherever you are. 
If you are alone, reach out to someone else or volunteer your time to help someone in need if you are able and help to spread the season's cheer. 
God bless you all.

19 comments:

  1. A blessed Christmas to you, dear Penny. Sad with you about your mum going into a home. But it's obviously the best option. Bless you for all you do for her and other widows, such as those in Kenya. Greetings, Jo

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  2. JO, so nice of you to visit me on Christmas Day :-) Yes it is sad about mom but we have taken a couple of years to become comfortable with this possibility and now we all recognize it is the best option in the circumstances. Thank you for your kind words. Please pray for the widows. God bless you and your loved ones this season. Penny

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  3. What a wonderful entry!
    Hope you are having a great day :)
    Happy Christmas! God bless xxx

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  4. Thank you RACHEL. I'm so glad you enjoyed my post. It means a lot. Merry Christmas.

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  5. A beautiful tradition! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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  6. Thanks Bossy Betty! I hope you had a very Merry Christmas too :-)

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  7. Dear Penny, thank you for your thoughtful, sharing post.
    So pleased you could have your Christmas building some lasting memories with your Mum.
    With love and blessings,
    Jan

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  8. Thanks dear Jan. Love and blessings to you. xx

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  9. REGINA, thank you for your warm aloha. My Christmas was quite fine and I also had time to rest though things were a bit hectic. I hope you also had a wonderful Christmas. I'll be looking now to catch up on my blog reading :-)

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  10. You have such a good heart and I hope Christmas was wonderful for your Mom. She is blessed to have such a kind daughter.--Inger

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  11. Inger, thank you for your kind words. I try to be a good daughter. Sometimes I fail but I know but mom is always pleased to have us gathered together and Christmas is a rare opportunity to have us do that. It is always nice for me too so I can see my nephews who I hardly ever get to see.

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  12. Penny, it has been a while since I have visited with you but you and your Mom have been on my mind. I have been keeping her in prayer. It is bittersweet to see our mothers go into nursing homes, but as my mother is in one, too, I know it is for the best possible care and support.

    As always, I am overwhelemed by your kind and generous heart as you give so generously of your time and energy to the widows. Their eyes and smiles are bright with happiness.

    Blessings to you and to those you love. Katy @ fodforahungrysoul

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  13. Hey Regina, just in case you pop by here again, I see that your comment isn't showing up here in the comments section though I did approve it. That must be a glitch in the system. Sorry about that :-(

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  14. Katy, nice to see you here again :-) I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. It is hard to see my mom go into nursing home but after several years of discussions and various things happening we have reached agreement that this is the best solution and she is eagerly awaiting her new adventures there. I thank you so much for your prayers as we surely do need them on a regular basis and I know what a sacrifice of your time that is. May God bless you for it.

    In terms of the help I give to the widows, it really isn't a lot but I do what I can. I just wish I could do more but am happy to do my part however small. I know it is a blessing to those who do receive it.

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  15. Hi there..sad your mom is going to a nursing home but so touching you can make the "connection" for her like that! This is a situation that is close..with many underlying issues and no easy solution but to trust God as the Spirit will move.
    I cooked for family and everyone contributed as well (both of my boys cook too) the younger made his traditional mashed potatoes and also blackberry pie with a roast. The older with less time on his hands, made yams and a green bean casserole (smile) Gifts- I picked various types of foliage up in the mountains and made wreaths and goodies. The economy is moving from bad to worse and people just have to learn to help one another out. Anyway, I enjoyed your photos and update..wishing you peace in Him (and we know not as the world gives)..my best:)

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  16. "This is a situation that is close..with many underlying issues and no easy solution but to trust God as the Spirit will move"..I didn't mean to run that together with what I said about your mom- but meant in regard to your post on the widows.
    Thanks-

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  17. Regina, I hardly know what to say. You bring words of comfort and joy. I know you understand what I'm going through. I have to say too that you seem to have raised a fine set of boys and you must be very proud of them. Happy New Year to you my friend. Hope we can connect more in 2011.

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  18. Regina, I hardly know what to say. You bring words of comfort and joy. I know you understand what I'm going through. I have to say too that you seem to have raised a fine set of boys and you must be very proud of them. Happy New Year to you my friend. Hope we can connect more in 2011.

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  19. "This is a situation that is close..with many underlying issues and no easy solution but to trust God as the Spirit will move"..I didn't mean to run that together with what I said about your mom- but meant in regard to your post on the widows.
    Thanks-

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