Sunday, December 11, 2016

A Season of Memories!

Good morning out there! Two more weeks and Christmas Day will be here. I have
enjoyed this season of Advent. The inside of our home is all decorated now. Jim and
I always decorate our Christmas tree together. I love standing back and looking at all
the hand made ornaments our children proudly made years ago. Our grandchildren have
shared their talents as well. Our tree is adorned with a beautiful, sentimental array of
mismatched ornaments. Faded paper chains, lights, trinkets of all kinds, and memories -
our Christmas tree is decorated with memories.
The center piece on our kitchen table is a beautiful nativity scene; the Holy Family,
Three Wise Men, the shepherd boy with his lambs, a donkey, and a cow. Two angels
hover above. My daughter and I bought this set on the day after Thanksgiving when
she was in the fifth grade. This nativity scene has been set up in different locations
throughout the years, but we have decided that the kitchen table is the perfect place.
You notice the beautiful nativity scene right when you walk into the kitchen, a very
popular place in our home! This nativity scene is another memory, a tradition that
we hold dear.
The kid's teddy bears now wear Santa hats and Christmas tree head bands. We have
a Little People Deluxe Christmas Story Set (Nativity Scene) in the living room for
the grandchildren to play with. They love arranging the set just like they want. When
you place the angel on top of the stable the star lights up and the tune,
 "Away in a Manger" is heard. They all love this nativity set and I love to listen to them
as they play with it. The other day I heard one of my granddaughters say that this
wise man was going to bless Baby Jesus with holy water. Oh, how I love all my babies.
On my window sill above the kitchen sink I have "the breakables"! My nativity scene
that was delicately carved from olive wood and was made in the Holy Land. The
intricate designs and shapes are amazing. This was a Christmas gift from a very sweet
friend. My cousins gave me a special snow globe. It is so beautiful; the base of the globe
is heavy cut bronze and the Holy Family are right in the center of the globe. It is also
musical and the key to wind it up is underneath the base. My grandkids will ask me to
shake the globe up for them and to wind the key so that Silent Night will play. I also
have a ceramic night light of Mother Mary and Baby Jesus (this stays up year round)
that I turn on as soon as the sun begins to go down. My daughter-in-law gave me the
night light and she loves where I've chosen to keep it. I keep one other really close to
my heart item on the window sill, well really two, but in my heart they are a single
set. It is a simple ceramic hand bell with a shepherd painted on it. I think it is a
Precious Moments hand bell. It had a little ringer inside of it and if you shook it, it
made a tiny little tingle sound. Years ago, probably about seventeen or eighteen years
ago, my dad and my daughter were playing with a balloon in the living room. They
were hitting it back and forth to each other like it was a volley ball! I walked through
and told them that they better not break anything. Now remember, this is "my dad" and
my daughter, they kept right on playing. The balloon hit the hand bell, it fell from the
mantle, and the little ringer inside broke off, but that was it, it didn't shatter, it just lost
the little tingle. My dad felt so bad and I told him that it was okay. I remember laughing
and telling them both that they were a mess! Dad went out and bought me another hand
bell, this one was silver and has a little carved bear as the handle. It has a little ringer
inside and when you shake it, it makes a little tingle sound. I really miss my dad, he's
been gone a little over eight years now. When I look at those hand bells I always smile.
Every now and then I pick up the silver one with the bear handle and shake it so that I
can hear the little tingle sound. This morning I looked out the kitchen window and what
did I see?
Four, bright red, male cardinals and their wives flying in and out of my big oak tree. I
stood there watching as tears streamed down my face. My dad loved birds and he would
whistle and call them when we were outside. I've heard people say that when you see
a cardinal, an angel is visiting you that day.
This morning my yard was full of angels and I watched them with delight, oh what an
absolutely magnificent sight!
The season of miracles is upon us as we wait for His birth! Open your eyes to the signs
that are everywhere, the signs that show God's love for us, how much He cares!

                                                                Blessings to you and yours,
                                                                                 Bye for now, Sharla

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