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Christmas Carols

Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly, Fa-la-la-la-la…

My internal calendar stopped on November 2nd when Silas entered our world. Thanksgiving took me altogether by surprise. I had a baby, and the next time I turned around, Thanksgiving was here! I caught my breath and began changing the dates on my perpetual calendar in my kitchen on December 2nd, when Silas turned one month. This year it was fun to have a house to decorate for Christmas! We used our tree that some friends gave us last year, and I’ve loved having garland and lights all around.

Christmas treats were fun to make and to deliver to our neighbors and friends.

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas with every Christmas card I write…

Since I was at home during this Christmas season, I was able to send out my Christmas cards early this year. I found a fun way to display our cards using ribbon a little sticky tack. I especially loved getting photo Christmas cards from friends.

O Little Town of Bethlehem…

One night we took Silas to the live nativity put on by my former employer, Trinity Lutheran Church. First, we met Samuel, the shepherd boy, who asked if we had seen the angels and if we wanted to go with him to Bethlehem to see the Baby that was to be born. On the outskirts of “Bethlehem,” we were stopped by the Roman census takers (reminding me of my first job this year). We had to register for the census with the Roman guards. I had never really thought too much about the Roman census and how it may affected Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. Our next stop was Abigail’s basket shop, then Jeremiah’s mill where the children could grind grain into flour. The flour was collected into a pouch that one of the children carried to the bakery. We exchanged the flour for unleavened bread, which we all sampled. At each stop, Samuel asked about the birth of the Messiah. Our search eventually led us to the inn where we discovered that a young couple had been put up in the stable. Finally, we entered the barn where we found Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus. The angels gave us a Christmas ornament, and then we visited the stable animals–a miniature horse and goats. Our visit to the live nativity ended with Christmas cookies which we took for the road.

Silver bells, silver bells,it’s Christmas time in the city…

Glendale, a suburb of Phoenix, boasts the largest light display in the state, Glendale Glitters. We decided to brave the crowds and go see the sparkles. People were everywhere! We managed to worm our way into a Christmas shop, and eventually stood in line for some Greek gyros (yum!). We even stopped to watch an accordionist and tuba player at the German restaurant, Haus Murphy.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas…Faithful friends who are dear to us gather near to us once more…

White elephant Chinese auction gift exchanges seem to be popular with our church. We had lots of laughs at the CBC youth group party, CBC family Christmas party, and the Horkavy’s Christmas Eve party. It’s always fun to see what people end up with at these gift exchanges. I must say one of the highlights of the Christmas party season was watching our friends, Ruben & Sylvia, pantomime “8 maids a-milking” and “7 swans a-swimming.” Even funnier, though, was Stephen acting out “6 geese a-laying.” Just use your imagination on that one! We’re so thankful for our church family–especially at Christmas.

Somewhere in my memory, Christmas joys all around me…

Our humble little Christmas celebration began with the reading of Luke’s account of the birth of Christ, Christmas carols sung with the autoharp, gift opening, vanilla nut coffee, a phone call to the Mankas & Taylors, video calls to the Moodys, Uncle Tim Moody, and David & Tammy. Silas got more presents than either one of us! We so loved celebrating Silas’s first Christmas with him–even if he did sleep through all of his presents being opened. His take included Bill Peet books, Big Thoughts for Little Thinkers books, Young Mad Scientist alphabet blocks, an autographed copy of Benjamin’s Sling by Eileen Berry, and adorable dinosaur hand puppets. What made the day was Silas’s present from Aunt Debby. The note she included said,

Dear Silas,

Merry First Christmas!

This little bear is a “Memory Bear” to help you remember your Great Pop-pop Taylor. He loved you and prayed for you before you were born. He was sad that he did not get to meet you, or hold you, but he held you in his heart with love. Your mommy and daddy can share lots of fun stories with you about visiting with him on the farm in Maryland.

Your little bear is wearing clothes, made by Aunt Debby, from some of Great Pop-pop’s favorite clothes. Great Pop-pop almost always wore plaid shirts and he liked his warm corduroys in the winter.

Have a blessed Christmas!!

Love and hugs,

Aunt Debby and Uncle Calvin

Of course, I cried when Stephen read the note aloud. I thought it fitting that Silas wore his outfit from Great Mom-mom Hilda today too.

We wish you a merry Christmas!

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