Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone!

nutcracker 'Twas the Night Before Christmas nutcracker
(or A Visit from St. Nicholas)
by Clement Clarke Moore 

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. 


The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.
And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap. 


When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash. 


The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
gave the lustre of midday to objects below,
when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer. 

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles, his coursers they came,
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:

"Now Dasher! Now Dancer!
Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid!
On, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch!
To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away!
Dash away all!" 


As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky
so up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too. 


And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack. 

His eyes--how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. 


He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread. 


He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose. 

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!" 

I hope you liked this well known poem which always speaks to me of Christmas. 

I am well prepared for Christmas this year. I managed to undertake my parties and preparations in a leisurely pace though I did have a hectic time with medical and dental appointments I was trying to squeeze in before the end of the year. 
I decorated my small abode a week later than originally planned but that worked out fine since I was too busy with appointments to enjoy the Christmas decor before hand. I don't "do" tons of decorations. I like to keep things simple. I've "sprinkled" photos of my decorations throughout the lines of the poem.

To my mind, absolutely none of these things that we've come to associate with Christmas (decorating the house, decorating trees, giving gifts to one another, attending parties, visits to family members, going into debt [for many], getting stressed out about the holiday preparations), has anything to do with the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In fact, I would venture to guess that most of these things are actually displeasing to him. But this isn't a post about judgement.

I know that many people are trying to keep their focus on the real  reason for the season at the same time they are trying to juggle the other demands of the season with all the things we have come to accept in western society as Christmas.

  In my own life, I long for a simpler time and a turning back to what is real and true.  I want to honour my Lord as much as I can through what I do and how I choose to live life.  I am learning as I go and nothing is difficult in that regard.  I think that God is just leading me step by step to a different way of life and it is good. 

I think you will agree that one of the best parts of the season is when we get to spend time with family and friends.
So let me take this moment to wish each of you joy, peace and love and a happy time with those that you love. 
There are many in this season who will be alone with no one to love and show them care. If you are one of these dear ones, I pray you would reach out to those around you, especially those that have no one else.  It will help you feel less alone and you will feel good cheer for moving beyond your comfort zone. 

  If you are someone who is blessed to have many loved ones in your life but you know someone who doesn't have friends and loved ones near, or someone who is a senior or a  "shut in", I pray you would  take some time to show them some love and joy this season in whatever ways you feel comfortable with (a card, an invitation to coffee or a meal, an offer to lend a hand with a chore, invitation and a ride to a service or an outing, a home made gift, etc.). You will really be giving a gift that brings lasting memories to you both.

Wishing you and your loved ones all a very


(see you in the New Year)

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2:7



Vores have said...

Hello Joyful - beautiful, thoughtfully.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Hugs Hanne Bente

Denise said...

Amen, I love this, and I love your genuine heart. Have a beautiful Christmas.

OneStonedCrow said...

Beautiful ... and the poem is delightful too

.. A very Merry Christmas to you Penny ... and a blessed time with Loved Ones ...

fond regards


Zenserly said...

so heart was warmed with the true essence of Christmas as I read through the post...the photos are delightful and the thought of making others who have no one with them happy is what I loved most...the photo of Mama Mary and the loveliest of babies is so lovely and is making me smile from ear to ear...I will view this post again because it makes me really feel Christmas in my heart :) Have a blessed season...:)

Cindy said...

You're right, this season is all about the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ and showing His love to others is very important. Creating a warm and loving atmosphere in our home for our loved ones to enjoy is a part of that, too, I think. Your decor is simple, but very sweet and pretty.
Merry Christmas and many blessings to you and yours in 2013.
Hugs, Cindy

Vores have said...

Hello Joyful
Just inside and to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year :)
Christmas Greetings Hanne Bente

EG CameraGirl said...

Lovely post, Joyful. Merry Christmas to you too!

Farida said...

Many people forget the real meaning of Christmas because of commercialism. YOur post is a great reminder to all of us that Jesus Christ is the reason for this season.

Blessed Christmas! :)

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Thank you Joy. Love is the ultimate reason for the season, God's love for us. As always it must bless Him most when we take time and thought to bless one another, especially those less fortunate among us.

Pia said...

♥ Merry Christmas! ♥

Pat said...

Gorgeous and inspirational Christmas photos, Penny. Have a blessed and merry Christmas!

Gail Dixon said...

What a beautiful post. I also wish we could return to a simpler time to take in the joy and really absorb what Christ's birth truly means to each one of us. I do hope you had a blessed day and that the blessings extend into the new year. God bless.

Margaret said...

Wishing you a very happy and HEALTHY 2012!

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