Twenty-five Days of Christmas Cheer: December 25th (Merry Christmas!!)

A very Merry Christmas to all of you!!

Here is a photo of our church’s altar and chancel decorated for the season. The service this morning was absolutely beautiful. It’s always wonderful to worship with fellow believers and to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

https://i2.wp.com/sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/s720x720/526874_530441610316448_1016219659_n.jpg

Advertisements

Twenty-five Days of Christmas Cheer: December 7th (My Favorite Christmas Carols)

Let me begin this post by mentioning Pearl Harbor. Please, as a nation (America), and elsewhere in our world, let us never forget what happened, both on this day in 1941, and the rest of the war. We don’t need to go through another world war. Yes, the possibility is there; it always is. As long as people disagree and become violent about disagreements, the possibility is there. All the same, let us never forget what WWI and WWII did to our world. World peace isn’t attainable, but we still must never forget.

****************************************************

Now, onto more Christmas cheer! I hope you all liked my post about St. Nick’s Day! Maybe it inspired you to think of your own favorite stories involving Santa Claus. Also, I didn’t end up getting anything done yesterday that I intended to. Days like that are frustrating, to say the least, but when the reason is that my mother-in-law randomly invited me over for lunch, I think it’s all good. She lives barely 5 minutes away when the weather is good, so yeah. Hopefully today I am going to do some baking. I totally intended to make gingerbread cookies yesterday afternoon, but yeah that didn’t happen. Today, however, instead of making the cookies, I am going to attempt to do some sewing first. A dear friend from my family’s church let me borrow one of her sewing machines, so I bought all the supplies to make an adorable Christmas apron, complete with ruffly eyelet! I haven’t done any sewing since last year summer, when I made my wedding dress, but hey, an apron should be a lot simpler than a wedding dress, right?! And I can’t legitimately do any Christmas baking until I’ve made my Christmas apron….

*******************************************************

So, favorite Christmas carols. Now, when I say carols, I am referring to the sacred songs about the Christ Child. You’ve already read my few mentions of my dislike for secular Christmas songs, haha. Now, I don’t hate secular songs; they can be lots of fun. Many of the classics like “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” and “Silver Bells” I really do like. It’s the modern ones I can’t stand…but that’s a post for another day!

Growing up, the hymns of the church were my favorite kind of music. I adore the pipe organ (as I think is mentioned in older posts on this blog), and I also adored the evening church services as a child. I still do adore them. There’s something quite special about worshiping the Lord in a sanctuary only lit by inside lights and candles. Anyway. I am going to list my top ten Christmas carols/hymns. At least I think it will be ten. Also, other than number one, these won’t be any truly particular order.

1. “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” (This was the first Christmas hymn I learned on the piano, and it was because I begged my teacher. Words cannot honestly express how much I love this hymn. Pretty sure it will always be my favorite.)

2. “Once in Royal David’s City” (Absolutely gorgeous hymn. The music is soft and soaring all at once and the words truly express the joy of Christ’s birth.)

3. “Angels from the Realms of Glory” (Another gorgeous hymn that lyrically expresses the joy our of Savior’s birth.)

4. “O Come, All Ye Faithful” (Any time I sing this one on Christmas morning, it brings tears to my eyes. Oh wait, they all do…)

5. “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” ((I think I adore this one for the poetic words. It’s just so beautiful.)

6. “Angels We Have Heard on High” (If you haven’t figured it out yet, I like any carol or hymn that mentions angels.)

7. “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come” (Okay, so this one should be higher on the list. Penned by Martin Luther and clocking in at 15 verses, this is a wonderful, wonderful hymn about Christmas.)

8. “Joy to the World” (Help, I’m already at number eight! Seriously though, who doesn’t love this one?)

9. “O Little Town of Bethlehem” (We always sang this one during the candlelight portion of our Christmas Eve service. I know it so well that I didn’t even have to bother with reading the words by candlelight…and I was usually in the balcony of the sanctuary anyway so I would stand at the rail and sing, the organ behind me and the candlelit church spread out below me…such a beautiful sight and feeling that always warmed my heart and brought tears to my young eyes.)

10. “Silent Night, Holy Night” (This one is the same as the previous one.)

Okay, I could honestly go on. I also love “Away in a Manger” and “The First Noel” and many others. But I tried to think of the ones that evoke memories that of Christmases past that I will never let go of as long as I live. The reason for the season is and always will be the reason that I and my family celebrate Christmas. I cannot listen to or sing carols without dwelling deeply on how and why Jesus Christ came to earth for us. It is the most important story ever told, seriously, and deep down in your heart of hearts, you know that. The Lord came down to rescue us from our debilitating sin by becoming one of us and yet sinless so that He could be the all atoning sacrifice and we would not be condemned to eternal darkness. All that He asks of us is that we believe. Faith is not easy, but it is the beginning and end of our lives.

I will post more about the Truth of Christmas when the day comes, and I dearly hope and pray that those of you who do read this blog will not dismiss what I have to say as religious drivel, because it isn’t.