The Bedazzled Shopper

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is EVANESCENT

The primary meaning of this word, according to the Oxford Dictionary:
soon passing out of sight, memory, or existence; quickly fading or disappearing.

Which makes me think of last Christmas. Do you remember it? So this quickly composed verse shall be my response to the prompt.

The Bedazzled Shopper

Whither fled the season
of good cheer, holly and ivy,
red bows and candle glows
and don’t be a Scrooge,
spend, spend, spend!

How did the tinselled trees,
twinkling lights and
red bows vanish evanescently
in December’s puff and stuff?
A distant memory now

as to my wondering eyes appear
all these chicks, fluffy cute,
and pastel plastic eggs
pulled from their nest in
stockrooms, with the signs
Sale! Sale! Sale!

Christmas Blessings to All

ALL IN GOD’S PLAN

“There went out a decree from Caesar Augustus…and all went…every one into his own city…” (Luke 2:1-3)
All in God’s plan. It seems that God wanted the whole world turned upside down for the birth of His Son! All over the known world folks had to make a journey to the place of their birth.

Just like today. The Christ-child wants to be born in our hearts, but before that can happen our life must be turned upside down. That which we hold in high esteem must come crashing to the ground. The way that we would most despise — the way of humility — must become the only one we want to take. That which is hidden deep within us must be brought to the Light. In a sense we come back to the place of our birth and realize we need to take a different path — His way.

“And Joseph also went up…with Mary, his espoused wife…”
All in God’s plan. Joseph and Mary had a destiny and God watched over them as they journeyed among the crowds of people. To fulfill His promise to His servant David, His Son must be born in Bethlehem. Did they sense what an important part they would have in history? Who could have known that what happened to those two ordinary, humble people in an insignificant village would change many people’s lives the world over?

Just like today. God has made His promise to man that “whosoever will may come” and He intends to fulfill this in our lives. He watches as we journey among the crowds of people and slowly He brings us to a crossroads, a place of choosing. Then, if we then choose to walk with Him, the Christ-child is born in our hearts. This gives us a destiny–and how can we know what an important part we may play in changing the course of other people’s lives?

“…Because there was no room for them in the inn.”
All in God’s plan. Not just so people could fault the poor innkeeper all these years for being so hard-hearted. Rather, it seems that God did not want His Son to be born in the inn — as a GUEST — perhaps in the company of the important and well-to-do. In His birth Jesus had not even a room or a bed and in the years of His ministry He had no place to lay His head. He was totally an outsider in this world.

Just like today. Each year at Christmas the normal events of life are disrupted for a season as folks go to and fro, buying gifts, decorating houses and stores, travelling home to their families, gathering for feasting, partying, and generally making merry. But the work God seeks to do in our hearts is something apart from all this. He comes quietly, at any time of the year, whenever a seeking soul opens his heart to Jesus.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to Him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Rev 3:20)

cropped-Nativity-greeting-3.jpg

A Song in the Air

When I woke up this morning a tune came to mind:
“There’s a song in the air…”

It’s not surprising I thought of this, considering the season we’re in. I posted a dozen Christmas cards yesterday and was looking at puzzles with pictures of old fashioned village carollers. I see Christmas day is only two weeks from now!

I thought more about the words and appreciated the gentle beauty of the melody…

“And the star rains its fire while the beautiful sing
for the manger in Bethlehem cradles a King.”

I’m thankful for these old carols that remind us of the true meaning of Christmas: the birth of the King. When I’m wandering through stores these days, I appreciate hearing religious carols for another reason, too. They tend to be slower and fill the air with a feeling of peace and joy, relaxing my mind.

When I hear some of the popular non-carols, the zippy winter songs merchants love to play, I feel more rushed. Is “Giddy-up, giddyup, giddyuup, let’s go!” meant to nudge shoppers into more of a “Hurry up and buy something” frame of mind? This may give short term results, but I have to wonder if this feeling of being push-push-pushed contributes a lot to the stress of the season?

Music as Motivation

I don’t know who told us this, but I once heard about two friends visiting, one of them being the manager of a restaurant. They were in the office together, looking over the eating area from the office window, and could observe the customers below.

The friend commented on how the diners appeared relaxed, taking their time over their meals, visiting awhile after. The manager replied, “Watch me clear this place out.” He took a CD from his desk and replaced the slower music that was playing with more lively songs. Soon diners were leaving; before long the restaurant was almost empty. They got the subliminal hint.

Motivational research has shown that music has a definite affect on moods. When the song in the air around them is gentle, people relax accordingly.

An Old Song

I’ve just googled “There’s A Song in the Air” and was surprised to learn it’s actually a very old one; it was written by Josiah G Holland and published in 1872.

There’s a song in the air! There’s a star in the sky!
There’s a mother’s deep prayer and a baby’s low cry!
And the star rains its fire while the beautiful sing,
For the manger of Bethlehem cradles a King!

There’s a tumult of joy o’er the wonderful birth,
For the virgin’s sweet Boy is the Lord of the earth.
Aye! the star rains its fire while the beautiful sing,
For the manger of Bethlehem cradles a King!

In the light of that star lie the ages impearled;
And that song from afar has swept over the world.
Every hearth is aflame, and the beautiful sing
In the homes of the nations that Jesus is King!

We rejoice in the light, and we echo the song
That comes down through the night from the heavenly throng.
Aye! we shout to the lovely evangel they bring,
And we greet in His cradle our Savior and King!

Today’s prompt word at Daily Addictions: SING

‘Tis the Season

Lionello Script

Good morning and welcome to another week.

I looked at the Word of the Day prompt yesterday and saw that it was HUNGER, which I had nothing to write about. I cooked dinner at the seniors’ home and we were all quite well fed. So, unless I wanted to write about my hunger to finish reading my book in the afternoon.

The word prompt this morning at Word of the Day is WADDLE, leading me to think of ducks and sincerely hope there are no ducks waddling around out there this morning. I trust the wild things have some little voice, or inner sense that tells them “It’s time to go.” The sandhill cranes stopped here en route earlier this month, but they didn’t stay as long as they usually do. At least I didn’t see any Saturday. Good thing.

Our next item on the agenda is a major giving of thanks for the fact that we have electricity again. The cats woke me up before 5:30 to let me know the power was off — at least I suppose that was their intent. Power was off for over half an hour in all; I stumbled into the bathroom to check the wall clock. And the cats both decided they absolutely had to go out. And I regretted my last decision before I went to bed: I’d put off charging my cell phone until morning.

Our is not a delightful place today, as October has decided to come in quite lion-like this time around. The snow started yesterday around 1:30 pm while we were at the dinner table and continued….and continued…and is still in the process of continuing. We’ve got about 6″ on the ground now.

The snow came initially on a strong wind from the north, but now there’s just an accompanying light breeze. A good wind would help the trees, sweep them of all this snow. This is heavy, sticky snow, perfect for snowball fights and snowmen. Horrible for driving. Probably brought down a power line or two — or maybe someone on their way to work slid into a power pole?

This weight of snow is crushing for trees and shrubs. Last night I noticed our 3-metre amur maple with its branches hanging very low and feared they’d break down, so I went out with a broom to knock the snow off. I did the nine-bark branches as well; these are our only two really valuable trees near the house. Looks like I’ll have to do it again this morning. The poplars along the west side of the yard, which still have most of their leaves, are really drooping as well.

LIONELLO Stroke

But this can’t stay! It’s not unusual to get flurries in September, but we usually only get our first real snowfall the last week in October. There’s a lot of canola lying in swaths under all this snow, waiting to be combined.

I wish merchants had a bit more of inner sense that would tell them when it’s the proper time to put up seasonal displays. I’d be happy to see Halloween start in October, not August. And when we were in the city on Thursday, two Lowe’s employees had just set up their tall artificial Christmas tree in the entrance. WAY too soon! In Walmart and other stores, Christmas candles and decorations are starting to shove over the Thanksgiving and Halloween stuff on the display shelves.

By the way, the fancy fonts I’ve used for this post are variations of LIONELO from Edric Studio over at 1001fonts.com

Books: The Perfect Christmas

I picked up this book at Value Village just before Christmas, and only just now got around to reading it. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it very much.
This two-tale book is well written, as are all of Debbie Macomber’s books, I’ve found. The first and longer tale, The Perfect Christmas — © 2009 — is one of those non-romantic romances where two people meet and don’t like each other. However, the author does this in a realistic way with no phony melodrama, no spitting nails at each other, such as you often see in modern anti-romances. The characters and dialogue are believable, professional, and respectful. The idea of paying that much money to find a spouse is the only thing I found incredible — but I don’t live in big city USA.
Seeing as the dating scene hasn’t delivered her dream spouse, Cassie Beaumont takes a friend’s advice and hands over $30,000 to a professional matchmaker to find her a well-matched mate. Rude and abrupt Simon Dodson may be, but she has to go along with his programme if she wants results. Determined to find the man she can live with, and have a family with, she can’t afford to have Simon, the psychologist running this business, get upset and refuse to work with her.
He proposes three character tests for her — and these are real jewels in themselves! I really enjoyed the realistic experiences Cassie has and what she learns as she works in these situations Simon has set up for her. Hats off to the writer for an excellent job on this part! She passes the tests and Simon promises to deliver the perfect spouse for her. But a wrench lands in the gears…

Can This Be Christmas? is an older, shorter story (© 1998) the writer has added as a bonus, yet it’s worth buying the book just for this one. Focusing on five characters needing to join family for Christmas, this morphs into a heartwarming human interest account of strangers stranded in a train station by a winter storm. None of them want to be here, but the Christmas spirit softens each one individually and melts them together as friends.

I rarely give a book five stars, but this one deserves them all.