Friday, December 23, 2011

First Corinthians 13 - Christmas version

First Corinthians 13Christmas Version
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows,
strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls,
but do not show love to my family,
I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen,
baking dozens of Christmas cookies,
preparing gourmet meals and arranging
a beautifully adorned table at mealtime:
I'm just another cook.

If I work at a soup kitchen,
carol in the nursing home,
and give all that I have to charity;
but do not show love to my family,
it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels
and crocheted snowflakes,
attend a myriad of holiday parties
and sing in the choir's cantata
but do not focus on Christ,
I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love does not envy another's home
that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love does not yell at the kids to get out of the way,
but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love does not give only to those who are able
to give in return; but rejoices in giving
to those who cannot.

Love bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things, and endures all things.
Love never fails.

Video games will break,
pearl necklaces will be lost,
golf clubs will rust,
but giving the gift of love will endure.

--Author Unknown

Enjoy EVERY minute!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Apple Tree Christmas

Apple Tree Christmas
   By Trinka Hakes Noble

 From the author's website:
Ever since its first publication in 1984, Apple Tree Christmas has touched thousands of readers young and old with its simple heartfelt message. Now in this handsome, classic edition, Trinka Hakes Noble’s holiday remembrance reminds us once again of the strength of family ties and the boundless roots of love.

   This is one of my favorite Christmas books.  Even though it is not directly Christ centered, it is about a sweet and loving family and it touches my heart every time I read it.
     I came across it as a library book years ago, and continued to check it out every year.  Then last year I decided to look for it online and add it to my personal library, so I purchased it from   Interestingly, the copy I bought was a signed copy, so that was fun too.  
    If you can, I would highy recommend this book as a Christmas read aloud.  Even though it is a children's picture book, I think all ages would enjoy both the story and the illustrations.   This book is still available at most libraries.

On Going Home For Christmas

On Going Home For Christmas
 ~ By Edgar Guest

He little knew the sorrow that was in his vacant chair;
He never guessed they'd miss him, or he'd surely have been there;
He couldn't see his mother or the lump that filled her throat,
Or the tears that started falling as she read his hasty note;
And he couldn't see his father, sitting sorrowful and dumb,
Or he never would have written that he thought he couldn't come.

He little knew the gladness that his presence would have made,
And the joy it would have given, or he never would have stayed.
He didn't know how hungry had the little mother grown
Once again to see her baby and to claim him for her own.
He didn't guess the meaning of his visit Christmas Day
Or he never would have written that he couldn't get away.

He couldn't see the fading of the cheeks that once were pink,
And the silver in the tresses; and he didn't stop to think
How the years are passing swiftly, and next Christmas it might be
There would be no home to visit and no mother dear to see.
He didn't think about it -- I'll not say he didn't care.
He was heedless and forgetful or he'd surely have been there.

Are you going home for Christmas? Have you written you'll be there?
Going home to kiss the mother and to show her that you care?
Going home to greet the father in a way to make him glad?
If you're not I hope there'll never come a time you'll wish you had.
Just sit down and write a letter -- it will make their heart strings hum
With a tune of perfect gladness -- if you'll tell them that you'll come.