Monday, December 12, 2011


"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Let all men know your forbearance.  The Lord is at hand." (Philippians 4: 4-5)

Here at Aspen Springs, we are joyfully anticipating the celebration of the Lord's coming at Christmas.  
As was related in an earlier post, we acquired our Christmas tree a few weeks ago.  After a few weeks of sitting in a bucket of water in the sun room, the tree was brought into the house on Gaudete Sunday.  We knew we wanted to get a tree that would fill the highest space in the living room - and this one certainly does that!
For most of the day, we worked together on the first round of preparing our home for Christmas:
Mark put lights on the tree

The girls made paper chains, snowflakes, and paintings of angels

Colleen got out the Nativity scene(s) and carefully stowed the baby Jesus figures in the same place so that none of them get lost or misplaced.  It's a small thing, but isn't it wonderful how exciting it is for kids to look for baby Jesus on Christmas morning?
The girls call this "the glass Jesus set".  It's Waterford crystal (a gift from Colleen's parents) and it's beautiful.
This set is obviously more kid-oriented - we don't mind if they touch this one!  It's sitting on the windowsill in the kitchen - a great place for everyone to see it each day.
And, finally, the "traditional" nativity.  This one is beautiful too.  The holy family figures were wedding gifts from an aunt and uncle; we have added more pieces throughout the years.
So, are your preparations underway?  It seems that everywhere we go we hear people talking about whether or not the shopping is finished - and that is important, in it's own way - but that's not the most important preparation for Christmas.  And neither are the decorations in our home, right?  It's the preparation in our hearts that really matters.  Hopefully our hearts - and our homes - are carefully prepared to joyfully receive the Lord at Christmas.

Makes me think of a hymn.  Did you sing "On Jordan's Bank" this Sunday?

On Jordan's bank, the Baptist's cry
Announces that the Lord is nigh;
Awake, and hearken, for he brings
Glad tidings of the King of kings!

Then cleansed be every heart from sin;
Make straight the way of God within;
Prepare we in our hearts a home
Where such a mighty Guest may come.

All praise, eternal Son, to Thee,
Whose advent sets Thy people free;
Whom with the Father we adore
And Holy Spirit forever more. 

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