1 CORINTHIANS 13 - - A CHRISTMAS VERSION
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love, I'm just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love, I'm just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband. Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens. Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way. Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can't. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.
This is definitely a factor in my wanting to homeschool my kids - it is hard to expect them to play with dolls and dress like the children they are when they are surrounded for the majority of their day with foul mouths, silly talk about the opposite sex, and clothes and music that I'm not sure are appropriate for *any* age, let alone elementary school kids. I want my children to enjoy their childhood and not be exposed to incessant influences way beyond their years. No, I don't intend to shelter them from 'the world' forever, nor do I not ever want them to grow up; but I will not allow them to experience those things at an age when they are still cognitively and emotionally children and not able to handle and process those types of ideas properly.
Here's the article if anyone's interested in what's gotten me so riled up today!
Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).
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Okay, honestly I would have been disappointed with anything less than 100%. My dad's a little bit grammar-obsessive and it rubbed off on me. It wasn't unusual to hear my dad and I around the house growing up catching each other with 'fuzzy reference to an antecedent.'
Um, did I really just out my geekiness to all of cyberspace?!? Please, come back, I'm really fun too!
1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Probably eggnog (light, of course!) - for being a woman, I'm not all that into chocolate things.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? We've gone to my parents every year since we've been married, and they still do Santa for us even though I can't actually remember ever thinking Santa was real ;). Wrapped, one for each person and usually a family gift, and we open them first before the other presents. They're never a really big gift, mom and dad want the credit for those I think, lol. We've decided (without much input from me, just for the record) that we won't tell our kids that Santa is real. I'm not sure if we'd still do Santa presents just for fun if we were at our own house for Christmas or not.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colored. Although I love the way white lights look - I'm just not organized enough to have everything else organized to be that classy!
4. Do you hang mistletoe? No, we never have. I think I should, maybe - Big G would be pleasantly surprised!
5. When do you put your decorations up? I don't have a set time. This year, with all the craziness at my house, it's been really important to me that we do it early enough to enjoy it (did the decorations last night and tree probably this week). I've already baked a couple kinds of cookies with Little G as well. I just don't want to 'miss' Christmas because our lives are busy and stressful right now.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding desert)? What?!? No desert? ;) I think good old turkey (dark meat) and stuffing (my mom's) with gravy....mmmmm.
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child: I loved all our traditions - I'm a big routine person and like everything being the same! One of the favorites was our Christmas Eve tradition of after church coming home and mom put out a huge spread of food, crackers & cheeses, appetizers, baking, etc, all for just our little family and we would sit in front of the fire and eat. And everyone would get along.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Like I said in one of the other questions, I don't remember ever believing in Santa. I think I was just a typical firstborn too grown-up for my own good.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes, we always got to open one growing up. We usually stay here for our Christmas Eve service, and then drive to my parents on Christmas morning. We haven't done a Christmas Eve present for our kids yet...we haven't usually bought them enough to spare one for then, lol! I'd like to maybe start a tradition of new PJs on Christmas Eve for everyone.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Little multicolored lights (lots), garland, and a very eclectic variety of ornaments! I've never gone out and bought coordinated ornaments for our tree, but if I did they would be blue and countryish.
11. Snow! Love it or dread it? Not much choice here! We've already had at least two feet or more this year. I like the snow for the most part, but HATE the cold!
12. Can you ice skate? Sort of. You grow up here in Canada and everyone ice skates at least enough to go once or twice a year with church groups or whatever. I don't love it - my feet hurt almost immediately and get frozen solid!
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? That would be hard! I think maybe a couple of years ago when my parents got both my sister and I car starters - it was totally unexpected and I know not cheap as we both have standards!
14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? As another one with little kids just getting old enough to participate in and enjoy the holiday traditions, sharing it with them is definitely something I'm really enjoying. Of course I want all of our traditions to focus on Christ, the reason for the whole season.
15. What is your favorite holiday desert? I love butter tarts and venetians, which are a three-layer square made with almond paste and jelly in between layers with chocolate on top. I'm in charge of making it since we've been married since mom thinks it's too much work!
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? We honestly haven't really established traditions with just our own immediate family yet, but we're talking seriously this year about what we want to do since Little G's getting old enough to start remembering these things. So many things from my childhood I loved...the Christmas Eve feast, the slooooow opening of presents in the morning (we had to wait until after a fancy breakfast to start, then we take turns and admire each other's gifts...we finish well after noon most years).
17. What tops your tree? Well...one lone mini-light from the top strand of lights that gets draped over the top so there's something there!
18. What do you prefer giving or receiving? Well, there have certainly been some gifts I've been very happy to receive, lol - but I love finding a unique or personal gift for someone and just knowing that they're really going to love it.
19. What is your favorite Christmas song? I love O Holy Night, I think because I have a couple of absolutely beautiful piano arrangements of it that I like to play.
20. Candy canes - yuck or yum? I tolerate the peppermint ones. I wouldn't ever pick one out of a lot of candy choices, but they're fine. Some of the flavored ones I've quite enjoyed.
Fun! I'm going to go put on my Christmas music now! :)
Anyway, I will be back soon - I had a burst of energy today and spent a couple of hours looking for ideas for a new blog design (I'm going with Susie at Bluebird Blogs), hopefully that will be up in a few weeks, I can't wait!