Saturday, December 18, 2010

My 500th post is a day late, but nonetheless, here it is!

Tell us about five Christmas memories you have.

1. When we (my sister & I) were young, K-5th grade, we had to memorize
Swiss and/or German Christmas poetry verses and then recite them on
Christmas. Some were easier and some harder. Never did enjoy it that
much. One year when I was 6, we memorized, "Josef Lieber, Josef Mein".
My sister got to be Mary and I, Joseph. We wrapped the wool african
blankets (my Dad had brought back from his time in Ghana) around us as
cloaks and used the play crib with a doll. We recited the hymn verses
and read the Christmas story from the Bible.

2. One year, when I was about 5 yrs. old, my older sister read the
Christmas story from the Bible. I just had to read something too, and
it was Yertle the Turtle that I had checked out of the church library!

3. My sister and I made Christmas cards from the year before Christmas
cards our family received. We cut off the picture and glued it on
construction paper and wrote in them. We gave them to each other, our
Mom & Dad and aunt. We also made tags for our Christmas presents using
the pictures from old Christmas cards, punching a hole, and tying a
ribbon through it onto a bow. We even used a neat scalloped little
paper cutter to make fancy edges and that was way before all the
scrapbooking stuff ever came into being!!!

4. Every year we helped bake Christmas cookies - mostly traditional Swiss
cookies that we cut out. We also made Swedish Rum Balls that we got to
roll in our hands and then roll around in chocolate sprinkles. Snowballs
were fun and we put a Hershey's kiss inside them. Of course, eating
them made it all worthwhile.

5. After our aunt gifted us with a piano and we had lessons, every
Christmas Eve, we'd gather and do a lessons and carols service
complete with a special Christmas prayer and incorporated
English and German Christams carols. There were more carols than
lessons. Then it was off to church for the late night worship service.
In actuality, we worshipped twice on Christmas Eve, within our family
and then with our larger church family. That was pretty much tradition
in our family. We always enjoyed a special Swiss meal - Pastaetli -
puff pastry filled with sweatbreads or turkey on a creamy sauce with
mushrooms. Of course, we ate in the dining room with china and silver
and crystal and candles. It made for a very special time for our
family. Sometimes, my aunt would join us if she had Christmas off. As
a nurse, she would have to work on some Christmases.

These are some of the memories of wonderful Christmases we shared and which still reside warmly and richly in my heart. I learned the mystery and wonder of Christmas, the gift of the Christ-child, and it still touches me in my deepest places no matter what my life's circumstances are. The miracle of God's love in Jesus Christ still enters in every year and casts its glow of grace and peace within and around me. I am thankful that I have always celebrated Christmas well and knew its wonder and mystery.

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