December – Beginning and End

Yes, December is here…The beginning of a new month and the end of a year.

I can’t believe that we will soon be celebrating 2016…this year has gone by so very fast for me.

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But first, we celebrate the Beginning…the reason we celebrate Christmas at all…Yes…the Birth of Christ.

Now, I know there are those out there who may become offended with this post, but I also need you to know that I am not ashamed of my being Christian.  And I do not Begrudge anyone, anywhere, their right to believe as they wish.

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I Think we all need to understand that we can get along together, we can all have different thoughts, dreams, feelings, religious practices, and be from different countries, and still have peaceful dealings with one another.

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So with that said…I’m going to go on about Christmas for myself and my family.

As I stated in a previous post, My Mom made the Holidays very special. I’ve tried to keep some of the traditions going.   We have one I started that, though my children are grown…they still love doing it…let me explain….

I have some dear friends, who gave me a Nativity set…now this is no ordinary Nativity set…My friends Husband takes many trips to the Holy Land on business…and many years ago, he took the time to find pieces to fit into a Nativity that was made from the olive wood in Jerusalem.  He was not able to find all the pieces in one place, and they are all hand carved.

This is a beautiful Nativity, and when we got it, I was delighted.  It has so much meaning to us, and fills our family with Love, each time we look at it.  I will be putting it up today, so unfortunately, I have no pictures of it yet.

I started something when my children were young…when I put up the Nativity, I leave out the Baby Jesus….What?  You might say….but I do this for a reason…so they will anticipate and reflect on the meaning of this wonderful season.

I have cut up bits of raffia, and some thin gold ribbon, these represent the straw that lined the manger…now…the straw does not get to be placed in the manger all at once…no…it has to be earned.

I told my children that to make a nice, soft bed for the Baby Jesus…we had to put straw in the manger, and the only way we could do it, was to do something good for one another.  We could not tell the other person that we did it, and someone else would have to notice the good deed, or the person the good deed was done to, would notice and then was able to put a piece of straw in the manger.  Well…needles to say, this time of year is my favorite in our house, because it seems our home is transformed…such a good feeling, and always something special happening…a note to say I Love You, or dishes being done without being told to, or giving up something you really like so someone else can have it.

Baby Jesus has always had a soft bed to sleep in, and the Love is shown ten-fold this time of year.

And all because of the Gift of the Baby Jesus…

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Now I know that Christmas is a time of celebration, and yes there are Christmas Trees, Decorations, Gifts, Parties, and Jolly old St. Nicholas…And we all enjoy the festivities, Baking, Giving!

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But Remember St. Nicholas was a man who brought gifts to those in need, and the Presents we give, represent the gifts given to the Christ Child by the Wise Men. Placing a  Christmas Star or Angel on the tree, represents the Angels coming to the Shepherds, and the Star that led everyone to the Baby Jesus.

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So….no matter how you Celebrate, this time of year, Remember to be Peaceful and kind to one another, Bring Joy to others, and above all Love your Neighbor…whoever, and wherever you may be.

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My hope for the end of this year, is that there will be Peace on Earth.  That we can all find a way to be kind and Loving to one another, and co-exist on this wonderful planet God Gave us.

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A special Thanks to all those around the world who give their time in the military…to defend the lands they call home…May they all know Peace this Christmas!

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Thanks For Hearing!

Sincerely;

Bea Heard

Baking Therapy

Baking things is one of my self-imposed Therapies…. It helps me to concentrate my thoughts into a single task.

I love kneading bread and shaping rolls/ loaves, and bread baskets.  wpid-100_2587.jpg  These are just a few of the items I Love to make…displayed in a bread basket…the basket is as much fun to make as it is to eat.

This time of year, I get to do more of it than I usually do, for more than one reason… at this time of year the baking warms the kitchen…and is great for the Holiday tables, along with gift giving.

I learned Baking Therapy from my Mom…and Grandmother (her Mom)… Mine would make bread for our meals…and all types…my Grandmother made the Best rolls (of which we have yet to duplicate)…and I remember one time when I was at her house…the smell of fresh-baked bread in the air.  She was punching down the bread and said with a smile…”I love that part…gets out all my frustrations,” and she was not light handed when she punched it down.  She was right…it is a great way to get out aggression and the warmth of the dough was helpful to her arthritis.

My Children Love fresh-baked bread, as a matter of fact…my oldest only likes it fresh from the oven…or a few hours old. He usually asks when he comes over and sees the bread…”How long ago did you make that?”   If I made it more than two hours past…he tends not to want any .  Don’t get me wrong…he will eat it if he really wants some…but he says he does not enjoy it as much…wants me to call him when I’m making it so he can get it fresh (spoiled Boy)!

I guess it is my Therapy, because if I am stressed, worried or having a hard time dealing with the struggles with my abusive past, it gives me a focus, and makes the house smell delicious, along with the memories of baking with my Mom and Grandma…it is an all around Stress-reducer.

So…if you are stressed…Try Baking…not only can you calm down…but you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor afterwards!

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Enjoy your Day!!!  Happy Baking and Thanks for Hearing!

Sincerely;

Bea Heard