Our town lost a wonderful man on Sunday. He was the former music minister at our church and when he suddenly passed it was quite a shock. He was full of life, had the best laugh, and had such a gift for music and performing. He sang at our wedding and his wife directed it. One of the things he was known for in our town was decorating his house for Christmas in September. His family lived in a Victorian house near us and it would be DECKED. OUT. for Christmas inside and out. He loved Christmas! So as a tribute to him, last night the neighbors living on his block put out luminaries and have started decorating for Christmas. Word is that streams of cars drove through the neighborhood last night to look at the decorations. What a neat idea to honor a man who will be truly missed, it doesn't seem real that he is gone. Today he is playing the piano in Heaven and leading the angel choir. Save a place at the Lord's Table for us Charlie!
During his funeral service, which was more like a worship service, I was thinking today how I am slowly getting ready for Christmas. My annual Gooseberry Patch Christmas idea book came last week and I'm thinking about what to make for Christmas gifts.
When we were on vacation I bought a Christmas ornament at Hallmark. It has become a tradition since the Ornament Premiere Weekend is close to when we are on vacation so I go ahead and buy the Winter Fun with Snoopy mini ornament for the year. Heck, the ornament Dream Book came out in April and I think that's a bit early for ornaments but it is fun to look through. Anna circled about half the ornaments in the book as a wish list.
I have also started working on the family photo Christmas card. Last year I did a New Year's card and it was a collage card from CVS. I really liked how it turned out so now I'm collecting all the good photos from the year thus far and getting them laid out on the card.
Maybe I'm changing the way I think about the Christmas holiday, instead of it being a stressful, time crunching, rushing around to get everything done holiday, I should celebrate it in bits and pieces all year, whether it be secular like buying Hallmark ornaments in July, or religious based like stopping to remember the reason for Christmas in the first place, to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I love this painting of the Nativity by Sandro Botticelli, circa 1473-1475, now in the Columbia Museum in Columbia, SC. It was a fresco that was transferred to a canvas. That's your art history lesson for today!
I'll leave you all with that to mull over. Have a great weekend everybody! Stay cool!
Credit: Street photo courtesy of Kirk Herbertson.