Monday, December 20, 2010
Being an educated man and with access to the learned scholars of the land etc, it is surprising that Herod was not more in touch with his roots.
He felt that the term used in the scriptures "a saviour for all mankind" was a direct threat to hi and saw Jesus as a threat and "not for him" when infact Jesus was coming to the earth as much for him as for anyone else, because God loved Herod too.
Herod made enquireies from the wise men asking where and when the star had appeared and made the pretence of wanting to go and see the baby too, but the wise men were warned in a dream not to return to Herod.
Herods raging then saw him issue a degree that all male children under the age of two in the vicinity of Bethlehem were to be killed.
Joseph was also warned in a dream of Herods intention and took Mary and Jesus to Egypt to escape him.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
The three wise men
The Three wise men (or in some translations Magi or kings) are traditionally celebrated at the feast of Epithany 6th Jan. It was believed that the Baby Jesus may actually have been as old as two when they visited.
They had been looking at the stars and followed one that they believe foretold the coming of a sviour for all the people.
They brought gifts of
Gold ~ symbolising Kingship
Frankinscence ~ symbolising Godship
and Myrrh ~ symbolising sacrifice and tears.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
"And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."
Mary and Joseph had been forced to travel to the Town of Joseph's ancestors. The journey would have taken days and been treaturous for a heavily pregnant woman. The thought of arriving and finding the place bustling with all the other people forced there, and being able to find no shelter other then an animal hold would be very frightening.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
I have decided to do a mystery giveaway. This will contain a selection of jewellery, crafts, decorations etc.
To enter simply promote this blog on facebook, twitter, blog etc. Then follow me and leave a comment. Or simply follow me. multiple entries will be awarded for mentioning it on the other sources! The winner willl be selected on the morning of Friday the 17th December. It is open to everyone, but those overseas will not receive it till after Christmas (if they win!)
When I started this blog a couple of months ago, it was as a pure indulgence. There is so much beautiful craft, music, tallent etc out there that only gets shared for a short time each year, that I decided to thoroughly embrace it. Christmas Creative is now at 199 posts. The next post will be a giveaway to celebrate.
Christmas to me is so special. It starts in September (the day after the kids go bck to school) as it does for many crafters (for some it never stops!) The big run up to Christmas, it seems so far away, you have time to plan, order materials, design, think and then all too soon it's nearly here. Normally around October I get some flash of inspiration and the subject for the Christmas day service (which we lead as a music group)comes bounding into being This year was no exception and very quickly there was a drama written and a title "missing the point". I guess it all stems from Google refusing to acknowledge Christmas last year. In the run up to Christms, there were christmas cards shown, but when you hovered over them the greeting was not "Happy Christmas", but "Happy Holidays".
Whilst the material Christmas takes place in every town centre or home (mine included,) when asked about traditions and what matters to people they nearly always respond with thoughts of the people they love.
I personally see nothing wrong with embracing the secular side to Christmas as you can see from this blog, but I do feel that all too often the real reson for Christmas is forgotton.
For me Christmas is about:
The obedience of a young girl, of her future being so radically changed, of being prepared to undergo shame, of the motherly instincts, and the will to do the right thing.
Of the bravery of a man, who also prepared to face shame, but who listened and responded in love.
Of the joy of angels spreading the good news.
The wonder of shepherds, who celebrated the news of the birth of a baby, left their flocks and hurried to visit and then returned home rejoicing and telling others.
The perseverance of the wise men, who studied, waited, watched and travelled to worship a new born king.
And of course there is the baby himself, sent to the earth in human form to be the light of the world.
So please, this Christmas time take a few moments to remember why and how and that he can be your light too.
I was mooching around the Craft Forum yesterday when I discovered this heart warming story.
These cute little fellas are the result of a plee for help a few weeks ago:
right I know you will probably all think I'm completely mad but I need something made for next christmas !!!
I'm doing it now as I'm at that time of life when if I don't do it when I think of it then I will never get round to it
basically years and years ago ( although it doesn't actually seem that long ago ) my mother in law bought at a bazaar - three snowmen and a father christmas - they were crocheted round a toilet roll if that makes sense
when me and my hubby got our own place we inherited the father christmas and one snowman and I started the tradition of putting chocolates in them
when we had our two children we then inherited the other two snowmen and Father christmas started to put chocolates in them on christmas eve.
they have always been part of our christmas but things are now changing
my 'children ' are now 18 and 21 and my son the eldest is talking about moving out next year with his girlfriend ( which I'm trying hard not to think about , whilst I love his girlfriend I will miss my son terribly ) but here comes the dilemma , next year I can't not put my sons snowman under the tree as it wouldn't feel right ( even though as you can imagine he probably wouldn't care less lol ) but if I do then I wouldn't want to leave his girlfriend out , and if I manage to find one for his girlfriend then I can't leave my daughters boyfriend out
as you can imagine my 'children' and partners really won't care less but its always been a tradition and its one I want to carry one and eventually include our grandchildren
so I'm after anyone who can make me some more snowmen - obviously I will pay you and its not until next year but if anyone can help me then let me know
Anyway, Pepsi (whose work has been featured several times on this blog) rose to the challenge and in double quick time there were the required additions to the family.(those sporting pink and blue hats!)
I know its sad but its such a tradition and is a part of christmas that I didn't want to give up.
I was telling my mother in law who bought the original ones and she was really pleased and thought it was lovely and my 18 year old daughter who I thought might just give me one of those 'whatever ' looks said they're really cool and she has said it more than once , she even texted her boyfriend at work to tell him he is part of the 'snowman ' family
I'm probably making my family sound even more geeky now lol
Isn't that a lovely story!!
"Having six kids our finances have always been limited and so we started right at the beginning with the tradition of waiting until everyone was up and gathered together before opening the presents. The kids took it in turns, one each year, of handing the presents out and we waited until it had been opened until the next one was handed out. It meant we all shared the excitement of all the presents and it prolonged the present opening. Our kids have taken it into their on families and do the same with the grandkids.
The kids developed their own tradition, instigated by the older two, of opening their stockings (handmade out of old clothes of course with their names on them and yes, parents had them as well) on our bed, waking us up at some ridiculous hour in the morning. They gathered the younger ones up and brought them in. It took several days before we got all the bits of peel, paper etc out of our bed clothes LOL"
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
I've been asking friends to share with me their Christmas "Traditions" and this one is from Lisa ...
On Christmas Eve, "I have to make my own mulled wine and all of us have a glass before the kids go to bed. When the kids are in bed we put out the pressies and polish off the rest of the mulled wine!!!"
That sounds lovely!
This tree has been in use every year since 1886 when it was purchased for sixpence by the current owners great great Aunt.
The tree is made from Rafia and has a base with ornate design featuring Mary and Jesus. The tree is only small and is made from rafia. It's still stored in it's original box.
The wind howled and tore at the faces of the man and his wife as they made their way through the night. Protectively he drew his cloak around her. She was bundled up with her arms carrying the bundle. "I can go no further" she said and she began to cry. The man looked frantically around for a place to shelter away from the cruel wind. He saw some rocks up ahead and persuaded his wife to walk "just a little further". As they reached the crags, they could make out a cave. Thankfully they crept in. At once their ears were blessed with silence. Thankful for the shelter the pair settled down to rest. The chill filled the night air and it was then that the bundle awoke. carefully the woman unwrapped her precious cargo and put his lips to her breast. Her dear little baby, so beautiful and so special.
Sitting in the corner of the cave, a spider watched. The woman finished feeding her baby and wrapped him back up, the family settled and tried to sleep, but they were so cold. The spider was touched and wanted to help the young family. Carefully with all the skill he could muster, he began his work. After a couple of hours the cave was sealed with a beautiful silken web.
Out in the dark, the sound of horses came nearer and nearer. Then voices could be heard. "They can't be much further ahead now, called one of the men. Then came the cry "there, that cave..." The spider held his breath and prayed with all his might, as the man alighted from his horse and walked towards the cave. As he got to the entrance, the Captain shouted "you fool, see the web, no ones been there for a long long time, come back on your horse, we must make haste as King Herod said"
Soon the men and their horses had disappeared and in the safety of the cave Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus slept peacefully.
Monday, December 6, 2010
I have been waiting for this to be completed. I was given a preview by Pepsi and at that time she was "cooking Jesus". it is created from polymer clay. I think it is so lovely to have someone make something so special at this time of the year, when so very often the real meaning of Christmas is lost. It's a joy to feature this.
Lint and Lavender has created this cute little felt bird and the twig star ornament for the christmas tree or anywhere around you home this Christmas. It's so cute and rustic.
When they heard the woman go up to bed, they crawled back down stairs to see the green tree covered in ornaments. hey had never seen anything so beautiful and they climbed up the pot on to the branches. Rushing from one ornament to another, they gazed in awe at the sparkling ornaments.
In the night, the Christ Child came to the house. He was so touched to see the tree, but it was covered in a shroud of dusty grey cobwebs. How the woman would cry at the sight of it. He knew that it had been prepared with love and so he reached out and touched it and at once the spiders webs glistened as they turned to threads of gold and silver.
And that so they say is why we have tinsel and a spider on our tree.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
I love this wire work Christmas tree. The colours are fab and festive and it would make a great centre piece on any Christmas table. It has been created by Sunny Belly.
Monday, November 29, 2010
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Joseph is then shunted into the sidelines. His part in Jesus upbringing is not heavily featured in the bible. He is also overlooked by the writers of Christmas Carols. There are incredibly few references to him in any carol old or new.Joseph's role though, was basically that of step father, a role that in modern times is prevalent and given value.
Last night was another markerstone in the run up to Christmas, Our Christingle Services. It is such a beautiful event.
Every year we hold two services consecutivly for the infants and the juniors from our local school. Both services are very well attanded by children, parents and Grandparents and lots of members of the congregation who help out with the process ensuring safety and enjoyment for everyone.
It's always the privaledge of the year 2 children to make the Christingles.
The Christingle is a visual prop for the message of Jesus.
The orange is the world.
The red ribbon is the love that jesus showed us by his death.
The fruits and nuts are the four directions, North South East and West, the seasons and his provisions for us.
The candle signifies the light of Christ coming into the world.
Once the christingles are handed out, the children wait for someone to light their candle and then the light are turned out and you see the wonder and excitement in the childrens eyes as the candle song is sung. It really is difficult to sing at that poing, I always feel a lump in my throat and tears brimming in my eyes. It's a really magical moment.
After the song, there is a natural silence. The children are just awestruck and everyone enjoys the candle light.
Last night was even more magical than usual because of the snow that fell all day leaving huge drifts and a winterland atmosphere for the walk home afterwards. And then last night, not only did we have the snow, but several of the villagers had put up their christmas lights to twinkle us on our way.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
White is a symbol of purity. It's associated with Christmas because of the purity and innocence of Jesus.
It is also considered to be special if snow falls on Christmas day and covers the place in a shroud of white.
Bing crosby's famous White Christmas is one of the most recorded Christmas Songs of all time.
With the modern interior, white is perfect for Christmas colour scheme.
Dach Crafts. The tree is formed by the greeting given by the angels to the Shepherds " Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men" The intricacy is amazing.
" Good morning!
You're beautiful with God's beauty,
Beautiful inside and out!
God be with you."
She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that. But the angel assured her, "Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus.
He will be great,
be called 'Son of the Highest.'
The Lord God will give him
the throne of his father David;
He will rule Jacob's house forever—
no end, ever, to his kingdom."
Mary said to the angel, "But how? I've never slept with a man."
The angel answered,
The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
the power of the Highest hover over you;
Therefore, the child you bring to birth
will be called Holy, Son of God.
"And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God."
And Mary said,
"Yes, I see it all now:
I'm the Lord's maid, ready to serve.
Let it be with me
just as you say.
Then the angel left her."
After going to visit her realtive Elizabeth, Mary said,
" I'm bursting with God-news;
I'm dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened—
I'm the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
His mercy flows in wave after wave
on those who are in awe before him.
He bared his arm and showed his strength,
scattered the bluffing braggarts.
He knocked tyrants off their high horses,
pulled victims out of the mud.
The starving poor sat down to a banquet;
the callous rich were left out in the cold.
He embraced his chosen child, Israel;
he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.
It's exactly what he promised,
beginning with Abraham and right up to now. "
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Silver is a colour long associated with Christmas and is probably derived from the sparkiling effect of snow and ice.
Vintage silvered glass decorations
church window from All Saints, Bromsgrove
Luke chapter 1 v 5~
During the rule of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest assigned service in the regiment of Abijah. His name was Zachariah. His wife was descended from the daughters of Aaron. Her name was Elizabeth. Together they lived honorably before God, careful in keeping to the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before God. But they were childless because Elizabeth could never conceive, and now they were quite old.
It so happened that as Zachariah was carrying out his priestly duties before God, working the shift assigned to his regiment, it came his one turn in life to enter the sanctuary of God and burn incense. The congregation was gathered and praying outside the Temple at the hour of the incense offering. Unannounced, an angel of God appeared just to the right of the altar of incense. Zachariah was paralyzed in fear.
But the angel reassured him, "Don't fear, Zachariah. Your prayer has been heard. Elizabeth, your wife, will bear a son by you. You are to name him John. You're going to leap like a gazelle for joy, and not only you—many will delight in his birth. He'll achieve great stature with God.
"He'll drink neither wine nor beer. He'll be filled with the Holy Spirit from the moment he leaves his mother's womb. He will turn many sons and daughters of Israel back to their God. He will herald God's arrival in the style and strength of Elijah, soften the hearts of parents to children, and kindle devout understanding among hardened skeptics—he'll get the people ready for God."
Zachariah said to the angel, "Do you expect me to believe this? I'm an old man and my wife is an old woman."
But the angel said, "I am Gabriel, the sentinel of God, sent especially to bring you this glad news. But because you won't believe me, you'll be unable to say a word until the day of your son's birth. Every word I've spoken to you will come true on time—God's time."
Meanwhile, the congregation waiting for Zachariah was getting restless, wondering what was keeping him so long in the sanctuary. When he came out and couldn't speak, they knew he had seen a vision. He continued speechless and had to use sign language with the people.
When the course of his priestly assignment was completed, he went back home. It wasn't long before his wife, Elizabeth, conceived. She went off by herself for five months, relishing her pregnancy. "So, this is how God acts to remedy my unfortunate condition!" she said.
Bprdesigns has created this beautiful array of cards that are designed with pockets for you to insert gift, cards / vouchers and money for Christmas gifts.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
In one small hut standing on the edge of the village two young children wrapped their scarves around themselves, before they opened the door and went out into the night air.
"Hurry," the boy called to his sister, "we don't want to be late", but still the girl dawdled only, her heart was heavy and her worry was apparent to the boy.
"I am sure that the most humble gift, if given in love will be acceptable" he offered.
In despair, looking around for beautiful flowers to gather and seeing none, she picked some green weeds. As they approached the church, she hung her head in shame as the other children giggled and parents shared knowing looks.
The people entered the church and one by one went to the front to place their gifts before the nativity, elaborate baskets of fruit and ornaments were given down. Then the whole congregation watched as the two children left their pew and took their green weeds to the front.
"Even the most humble gift, if given in love" filled her heart as she lay the weeds down. A tear trickled down her cheek and though the tears, she saw the weed burst in to star shaped flowers of the most stunning red. The gift had been given in love and had also been recieved with love!
Red is a colour long associated with Christmas. Red is a sacred colour often associated with the Blood of Jesus Christ. It was felt that holly was a specially blessed with it's bright red berries and this was often brought from the hedgerows and forests to decorate houses.
In 1931 Coca Cola took the figure of Santa (which had developed from Saint Nicholas A man clad in deep green) and dressed him up in their corporate colours. This is the figure we now most think of.
Red is a special colour that the human eye actually recognises before it sees the other colours. So it's striking nature means we are attracted to it.
In Mexico Poinsettia's feature heavily in Christmas decorations and in the next post I'll tell you why!
Another red we associate with Christmas is the red of the robins breast which is actually an orange toned red) and post boxes. These red items are often included in designs for cards and decorations.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Gold is of course one of the gifts given by the wise men in recognition of the Kingship of the baby Jesus.
Victorian style vintage bauble
Gold 3D star
When I saaw this amazing photo of lots of the beautiful felt decorations that have been made by
Heartfelt Handmade, I just knew I had to share it with you. Aren't they all wonderful!
Monday, November 22, 2010
This beatiful holly with beaded edge is fantastic. It's been created by Buttercup Boutique. The brooch back will allow you to bring that seasonal feeling to any of your outfits.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
There are several words that get an outing at Christmas. One of them is JOY. It's used to decorate cards, desribe Christmas and yet, I wonder whether it gets taken a bit for granted. It's a lovely word.
Joy is more then mere happiness. It is intense and deep. It can also be used in the context of being a source of happiness. "you are a Joy to me".
Lukes Gospel tells us the greeting the Angels brought to the Shepherds;
"Do not be afraid. I bring you news of great Joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David (Bethlehem) a savior has been born to you. He is Christ The Lord."