Wednesday, December 1, 2010

KEEPING CHRISTMAS IN MY HEART...

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.

-Roy L. Smith-Yesterday as I puttered around the studio, I listened to Christmas Carols hoping to capture a little bit of that spirit that seems to be waning in light of all the plans and preparations before the blessed celebration day arrives. A paper layette that I have been working on as part of a larger project caught my eye just as the these words hung in the air above my head, " Away in a manger, no crib for His bed, The Little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head..." He had nothing fancy fashioned for Him at birth, no special clothing, no preparation of pretty things, only a simple swaddling wrap.
The only decor for his nursery were the twinkling stars in the velvet night sky and the sweet smelling hay where he lay, " The stars in the bright sky, Looked down where He lay, The Little Lord Jesus, Asleep on the hay..." The message of keeping it simple began to permeate my heart. As much as I wanted to add to my list of things to make and decorate with this year, like these fantastic woven star tutorials (part 1 & part 2) by Amanda of House Revival, I knew I needed to reign myself in.The next verse of the song drifted through the air, " The cattle are lowing, The poor Baby wakes, But little Lord Jesus, No crying He makes..." Christmas is not a time for complaining about what I need to get done or what I want to do but can't get to. The baby lay in a noisy stable just like I live in a noisy and clamoring world where attention can easily be drawn away from what is important. He did not complain about His circumstances but quietly and calmly took in what surrounded Him, the faces of his earthly mother and father, those He loved beyond measure. Imagine, a baby who knew where to place His priorities.My heart swelled as the next stanzas lifted themselves upward like a prayer, " I love Thee Lord Jesus, Look down from the sky, And stay by my side, Til (Christmas) morning is nigh. Be near me Lord Jesus (as I plan and prepare), I ask Thee to stay (reminding me of what is important about Christmas day), Close by me forever, And love me I pray. " This is the message I wanted to tuck away in my heart, that none of the trapping of tinsel, tree, or lights should ever dim the message of Christ's birth on that long ago night. Christmas is a season of love and gratitude for what I do have, faith, family, friends, and all the necessary fundamentals of food, clothing, and shelter to meet my daily needs.
Do I really need one more decoration? Yes, I do, I need a decoration of the heart that keeps me properly focused for the next 24 days as I am baking treats (favorite fudge and goodie recipes from the kitchen of Quill Cottage), wrapping gifts (gift wrap ideas), and trimming the tree (Christmas pasts decor at Quill Cottage 2009, 2008, 2007). On Christmas eve, as I fill the stockings (stocking tutorial by Thespa of Vintiquities Workshop) I can only hope that I have kept Christmas tucked away in my heart, its little messages of love reminding me of all my blessings. (Tuck Away Hearts by Peggy - these personalized messages of love would make great stocking stuffers!)My plan is not to give up on all the holiday festivities that I love, (more festive decor ideas here at Marie's Masion - these are a must see!) but to curb them back just a little, being slightly more selective in how I spend my time and energy, and above all to keep Christmas in my heart.

And my Christmas prayer for you, my dear blog friends, was sang sweetly in the last refrain, " Bless all the dear children, in Thy tender care..." make their Christmas' memorable, merry, and blessed beyond compare!

Christmas Blessings,
Sandy

19 comments:

jenclair said...

Thanks for such a great post and all the links (today and everyday)!

House Revivals said...

This was a lovely post. Thank you so much for featuring my woven star!

lailani said...

As I look around and think about what decorating I wish not to do this year, I read this post! Love it. I don't think I will decorate as much this year, mainly because I don't want to feel stressed. I am going to keep it simple. I want to create. But not for this year. Create for fun, for simplicity, for next year. I want to bake and I will, so I can share AND enjoy. So I will not lose my senses trying to get all decorations out of tubs and back up,so I will not lose a sense of the true meaning of the season and from whom all my blessing flow, I will simplify the set up this year.

Thank you for such a beautiful post! And for links to visit for reading, admiring, and maybe some creative playing :)

P.S. my word verification for this comment is "sycho." I hope this has not truly been a "psycho" comment. :)

LuLu Kellogg said...

What a wonderful post Sandy. Thank you so much for all the links! I am off to have Christmas in my heart :)

Love,
LuLu~*xoxo

Vee said...

Yes, we must learn to focus on what's most important...to be the Marys at least as much as the Marthas...true at Christmastime and all year through. Thank you for the reminder.

You're going to keep me hopping following all your links, but not all today...just one! See how quickly I learn? ;>

Whimsey Creations said...

I just love the Christmas in your heart quote Miss Sandy - and all of your beautiful thoughts too. Thanks so much for sharing them.

Shopgirl said...

You bring such beautiful pieces...they seem to live within you like magic. Love all that you do...Hugs, mary

The Feathered Nest said...

Oh Sandy....this paper creation is so precious to me!!!! Such a true work of art sweet friend ~ just beautiful! hugs and love, Dawn

Anne at Oh My Yes! said...

Sandy, you have such a lovely blog and your post is a Christmas present in itself! Thank you for your sweet comment about my mantle, I appreciate it!

LiLi M. said...

Hi Sandy, These words about Christmas are so true and I will certainly remember them if (I'm not planning to do so, especially after reading this post) I get stressed. I don't have the time this moment to check the links, but I know I will come back and enjoy them. This is a wonderful time of the year in the sense that you have written in this post. I totally agree that we sure can count our blessings and enjoy them especially this month. Today would have been my mother's birthday, you are right if you say that it still is, but we call it something like a plusyearday in Dutch, so when you passed away you will stay the age you reached for ever, no plusyeardays anymore. When I think of my mother I think of all the little things she was happy about and that you have to enjoy each and every day if possible and be grateful when you are in good health, it always looks so naturally, but we mustn't take these things for granted. A good health is important but even more imported is having a loving family and sweet friends and I sure appreciate your good wishes and your blog friendship. Thank you!

LiLi M. said...

mmm of course I mean important in stead of imported.
So; even more important is having a loving family and sweet friends.

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Very beautiful and poignant post Sandy. Best Wishes for a sweet season. xoxo

Lynn Richards said...

Sandy dear,
Thank you for sharing this. At Christmas time, I tend to have a deep ache in my heart for those who don't look to the hope that was sent to us in such a human way. And in the midst of all the frantic-ness, I want to focus on what a miracle that is for each one of us. I love all the fun and parties, etc., but it is so, so good to take time and think of what this season truly means. Thank you again,
lynn

Atelier de Charo said...

So beautiful ornaments you create! You are so creative!

Hugs

Charo

Secret Garden Cottage said...

Beautiful post Sandy! Sometimes we do get carried away with the things that aren't important during this "shopping" season. Thanks for the eloquent reminder of what's important AND for all of the links. That really must have taken you some time. :)
Happy weekend to you...
~ Jo :)

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for reminding us that keeping life simple allows for more of the true Christmas Spirit shine in our hearts.

I am having a Give-Away on my blog. If it is something that you would like, please come over and enter.

Have a great day!

Tarnished and Tattered said...

Miss Sandy,
What a great post for me to read today. Beautiful, thank you friend for a gentle reminder. I have to go look up the fudge recipe & the stocking tutorial, & the.......:) Lisa

FlowerLady said...

What a lovely post about the true meaning of Christmas.

FlowerLady

Denise said...

What a wonderful post. Thank you so much. I just love the little paper baby dress and hat. Beautiful!

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