Share Four Somethings – December

Something Loved

Every year a friend of mine organizes a trip to a local Christmas parade, followed by lunch and a visit from Santa Claus at her house for her grandchildren and the grandchildren of friends. My grandsons look forward to this day all year.

We bundled up and watched the Christmas parade. The kids brought bags, which filled up quickly, to store the candy, chips, pretzels, and other treats tossed by parade participants.

The local police department arranged for an Italian Ice truck to hand out free Italian ices to the kids. I was too cold to eat Italian ice, but the children loved it!

After the parade, we all trooped back to my friend’s house for pizza and a visit with Santa. This Santa is the real deal. No fake beard or hair for him.

He entertains the children with stories and simple magic tricks, gives each one some individual attention, then vanishes with a promise to return on Christmas Eve.

It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday.

Something Said

Meditations in Motion

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.– John 1:5

We are looking forward to attending a Moravian Love Feast service at the Moravian church in our town with our two youngest sons and my daughter-in-law this weekend.

These beautiful services are so popular, you must get (free) tickets ahead of time.

At one point in the program, the lights are dimmed and candles distributed. The light from a single candle is passed down the rows until each person’s candle is lighted and the church is bathed in soft candlelight. It’s a touching representation of how Christ’s light illuminates the world.

Of course, the highlight of the service is the communion. At the Love Feast, rather than bread and wine, Moravian sugar cake serves as the host along with either coffee or chocolate milk. Moravian sugar cake is a buttery, brown sugar-y moist and delicious coffee-type cake. It’s the only church service I attend where I actually gain weight.

Something Learned

Meditations in Motion

Self-discovery is a good thing. I learned something about myself when we visited family in Arizona for Thanksgiving last month.

It’s not just me, my whole family is competitive.

After Thanksgiving dinner, while the kids watched a video, the adults played a rousing game of Celebrity.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the game, it is played in three rounds. Each participant writes the names of five or six celebrities on pieces of paper, which are folded and placed in a hat. Two teams are formed (We creatively named our teams Team One and Team Two.)

In the first round, each player has a minute to try to get his teammates to say the names of the celebrities he draws out of the hat. The player giving clues can say anything except the name of the celebrity. In the second round, the process is repeated, but each player can now only say one word. In the final round, players may not speak at all; they must act out the celebrities (similar to charades).

I played on a team with my sister. We repeatedly looked at each other in puzzlement as our children selected celebrities we had never heard of. I am hopeless at popular culture.

While there were no arguments, it was clear that each team wanted to win. My husband, never an enthusiastic game player, refuses to play with us.

Something Read

Meditations in Motion

After reading “Jesus Feminist” by Sarah Bessey, I am left wondering why I waited so long to read this wonderful book.

My copy of the book is now too dog-eared and highlighted to donate. There were so many good quotes in “Jesus Feminist“, I had difficulty selecting just one to illustrate why this book appealed to me, but here is my choice: “Feminism is complicated and it varies with each person, much like Christianity. It’s not necessary to subscribe to all the diverse – and contrary – opinions within feminism to call oneself a feminist.

OK, just one more: “Love your spouse, love your babies, love the poor, love the orphans, love the widows, love the powerful, love the broken and hurting, love your friends, love yourself, and love your enemies. Love until you come to love the whole world in the fullness of God, in the full expression of the image bearer he created you to be – just that; no more, but certainly no less.

If you are a Christian or a feminist, or especially a Christian feminist, I highly recommend this book.

 

I am linking up with Heather Gerwing for her β€œFour Somethings”. Thanks, Heather, for giving the opportunity to think and write about four such compelling topics.

 

 

52 comments

  1. That guy is one authentic Santa, Laurie! Glad you got to enjoy his visit with friends and family, loved your description of the Moravian communion, and will certainly keep the book you’ve recommended in mind. Usually, when I hear the word “feminist,” I’m turned off, but the quote you included intrigued me.
    Hope you have a blessed Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    • He is the best Santa I have ever seen. The kids paid attention to him for his entire visit! Sarah Bessey is a good Christian author. I don’t always agree with everything she writes, but she is a very good writer.

      Like

  2. Seeing the “real deal” Santa brought back fond memories. I had an uncle who had long white hair and bead and played Santa each year. He has been gone for many years now. I really should find the photos of my children with him and pass them along to them. I think it would mean a lot to them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A lovely post, Laurie! Thank you for the book recommendation, it sounds like a very enjoyable read. It’s funny, just going by the title I would never have given it a second thought. Thanks to your comments I will now put it on my book list. Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Laurie, I love how you seize every opportunity to wring joy and meaning out of life! And I would love to pay that game with a group. My husband is like yours, however: he’d rather have a root canal. He’s an actor, so nobody can understand why he hates being asked to do things like charades: the truth is, like many actors, he’s shy when not onstage!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jan. My family loves to play games when we all get together. I have a very lively bunch of nieces and nephews. That is so funny about your husband! I woul think the same thing – he should be an excellent charades player!

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  5. The Christmas parade and Santa afternoon sound just wonderful – magical for the kids and their adults as well πŸ™‚ That service sounds lovely as well – my Lutheran church in PA did something similar with the candles for the Christmas Eve services! We didn’t have cake though. Moravian sugar cake and coffee are a good substitution πŸ™‚ That book sounds interesting – will have to check it out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We went to the Moravian Love Feast on the Sunday before Christmas, then went to our normal Lutheran church on Christmas Eve. Both services were beautiful – the Moravian Church is one of the oldest buildings in town and the Lutheran one is very modern.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Slowly but surely I am catching up in Reader Laurie. Doing two back-to-back posts was poor planning on my part. This post is just perfect for the season and your grandsons are adorable … that is one great-looking Santa and a Santa that does magic tricks too – so did your grandson who loves magic pick up some pointers?

    I am abysmal at pop culture too and if not for listening to the Mitch Albom Show and following what’s trending on Twitter, I would be hopefully lost. I don’t have TV (cancelled my cable in 2010) so I’m really out of touch with TV personalities. Oh well.

    The Moravian Love Feast sounds amazing. Have a very Merry Christmas Laurie – enjoy the kids while they are young as it makes Christmas all the more special.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are doing better than me, Linda. I have had so much going on with visiting relatives and babysitting grandkids that I haven’t had time to catch up.

      My grandson did not pick up any pointers, but he still loved the magic show. Santa just did a few simple tricks but the kids were all amazed.

      We went to the Moravian Love Feast with my 2 youngest sons and one daughter-in-law, then Bill and I went to our Lutheran service on Christmas Eve, just the 2 of us. Both were very beautiful. The Moravian church is very old – it’s one of the oldest buildings in our town – and the Lutheran one is modern.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You should not have too much trouble catching up Laurie – posts have been light since Christmas Eve for most of the folks I follow in Reader … it gets overwhelming sometimes if you are behind more than a few days.

        You have had a good reason to be gone from WordPress – it’s a magical season to get together with loved ones. First your Thanksgiving get together and now Christmas. The church services sound beautiful, even with the different venues and architecture.

        The Santa sounded very fun with his magic tricks. I bet he does that to win the admiration of the kids who are apprehensive about sitting on his knee or getting close to him – pretty smart of him to do that – no tears that way!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I went through my list a while ago and winnowed out the ones I truly didn’t read, so my list is manageable now. Maybe a lot of bloggers (like me) are taking a break from writing over Christmas.

        That Santa just had a way with kids. He was even good with babies and toddlers who are sometimes reluctant to sit on Santa’s lap. My friend has now hired him 3 or 4 years in a row.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is what you want for a Santa – one with personality. In the beginning I followed back everyone who followed me, regardless of genre … that was a mistake to be honest and I am starting to do the same thing as it was and still is a little unmanageable at times. I’ve not even gone to Reader and it will be tomorrow now … I was gone for six hours and walked six miles and by the time I got home and ate and did a few things, the evening was gone – poof. We have rain overnight and all day tomorrow, but I’m going to be productive in the house (which only happens anymore in inclement weather – wait did I really write that?)

        Liked by 1 person

      • I followed the exact same process, Linda. I used to follow everyone who followed me. I don’t do that anymore unless I really think I will read their blog. we are supposed to have rain today too and I wanted to do a track workout. I might just have to get wet. I told Bill htat we have to do a full housecleaning in January. He is dreading it! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • I was a newbie and thought that was expected … I have learned but it took a while. I stayed offline most of today and I’ve not even been to Reader and may wait til tomorrow now – depends on how many are there. I did not get as much accomplished as I had hoped to – I got a little bored but I still stayed off the computer. I don’t blame Bill because I hate housecleaning too – watch him suggest a warm getaway for you two!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I just published my last post Laurie and enjoyed the little break … I have taken about 300 or more pictures in December and haven’t even looked at the bulk of them. I will do some shorter posts and break up the pictures into segments instead of one long walk like I did today. I needed the break and the year does not close without drama – my furnace went on the fritz most of yesterday – it came back last night … the first cold day in ten days. The HVAC guys come this morning plus it snowed as well so I have to shovel. I need a break from everything … my boss just returned last night from 10 days in Cabo, Mexico.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I just read about your furnace woes in your last post. Ugh! What a mess to have to deal with at this time of year. Maybe you should plan a trip to Cabo in the near future! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • It turned out worse that I thought Laurie. I have my HVAC equipment checked on a “Gold Plan” twice a year – Spring for AC and Fall for furnace. He was just here on October 26th. The problem was the inducer motor and circuit board had to be replaced – yikes! Luckily, the equipment was purchased in 2012 so it was still under warranty. Otherwise the repair would have cost $1,500.00 – so I didn’t pay a penny, even the service call. I feel pretty lucky, but what an ordeal. It is a high-efficiency furnace and you are to reset/reboot it when it “codes” – I did that and the first time it didn’t help – I tried several hours later and it worked fine (go figure).

        It’s been a year of household horrors starting with the kitchen sinks falling apart during the coldest night of the year when I was trickling water through the pipes. The plumber showed up on a snowy and cold night at 11:00 p.m.! I hope the new year is smoother sailing for sure!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, so glad it was still under warranty. I guess it is a 10-year warranty? That happened to us once with a well pump. It blew out right before the warranty was up. It would have cost us thousands of dollars to replace, but we didn’t have to pay a penny.

        You did have a rough year with your appliances last year. Here’s hoping for better luck in 2020!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I was too Laurie. I’d have been mad and this furnace has had many problems since it was installed in 2012. They were out at least once a month until they discovered the furnace was not “pitched correctly” (it was deemed an installer error). It was under warranty but I had my canary at the time and the furnace would go offline and not come back. I looked at my bill of sale after this issue on Tuesday and it did not say so I have sent an e-mail to a woman at Flame Furnace to inquire if it is a 10-year warranty (I suspect) and about getting an extended warranty – they advertised that in the literature that came with the furnace, A/C and whole house surge suppressor. I would get it. I did an extended warranty with my car and it just went off warranty in September as it turned 10 years old. I am hoping for a better 2020 but I know so many folks dealing with severe illnesses right now (dementia, cancer mostly) that I feel pretty lucky actually.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I think I am going to get her latest book as soon as the pile of books I got for Christmas presents goes down to a reasonable level. All of my kids know I love to read! I hope your Christmas was wonderful too!

      Liked by 1 person

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