Friday, 15 December 2017

The Christmas Tree

Howde folks!

Sofia and Donald still here. Do you like the pic? I found it in Lady M's album. It was her tree a few years ago but I like the toys around it. They are the 'comfort' toys which Miranda bought for my children, Sophie and Donny. My darling children are in their late teens now and living in Australia but they took those toys with them and look at them every day. You may remember that I told them to burn a candle when they wanted to talk with me after my untimely demise. They still do that and Dad and I keep an eye on them.  Oh yes, I knew I was going to die early in life and you can read all about how in Look After Each Other.

Anyway,  Christmas is only ten days away now. Have you decorated your tree yet? This week Donald and I thought we would enlighten you as to the custom regarding the Christmas tree.

In the 8th century St Boniface was sent from England to Germany to preach about Jesus. On a frosty December evening he was walking in some woods when he came across a group of people about to make an offering of a little boy to a pagan god. The meeting was under a large oak tree. St Boniface rescued the boy and felled the tree. When it fell to the ground it left a small fir tree behind growing between its roots. St Boniface declared the fir tree to be their holy emblem because its leaves were evergreen and a sign of eternal life. Further, it pointed toward Heaven, henceforth, it would be called the tree of the Christ-Child.

The modern Christmas tree originated in Western Germany. Traditionally, it should not be decorated until Christmas Eve. However, in the 20th century the Christmas tree, like so many things, became more of a commercialism than a custom. It is now worldwide common practice to see decorated Christmas trees in stores, public places and homes from as early as October.

Traditional decorations were candles! Yes, really! It makes you wonder how many trees ended up as fires in the home. Along with the candles were ornaments, garlands and tinsel. An angel or star would be placed on the top point looking toward Heaven. The angel symbolising the host of angels and the star representative of the star of Bethlehem and the Nativity. Gifts are placed under the tree.

Only 9 more shopping days to buy those gifts.  Don't panic! In 11 days it will all be over!

Until next week be happy and try and stay sober through all the celebrating before the big day.

Love you all, Sofia and Donald xxxx




                                                        










Friday, 8 December 2017

Christmas Poetry

                                                          
                                                  

Lady M's books (some of them!)



Howde Folks,       

Donald and I hope you are enjoying lighting candles as you approach Christmas. We often recite poetry to each other. Well, when we are not indulging in our favourite hobby. Earlier in the year Lady M introduced us and you to the Blackpool poet, Mr Darryl Ashton. We liked both his satire and his spiritual stance on life so we have selected his two Christmas poems from her blog to share with you again. Enjoy as you look forward to 25th!        



A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER



Image courtesy of Wiki Commons



We’re getting near to Christmas,
There’s lots of things to do.
There’s cards to write and gifts
to pack
To friends both old and new.

We’ll think about the good old
days
When Father Christmas came
And left a shiny penny,
And a tangerine and a game.

We’d have a lovely dinner,
Turkey, Yorkshire, spuds and
sprouts,
And a home-made Christmas
pudding,
With mince pies, without a
doubt.

And nuts and dates, oh, what
a treat,
And paper chains were hung,
Then someone played piano,
And carols would be sung.

Let’s think about the Christ
child
As he in the manger lay,
And remember that without
him
There would be no Christmas
Day.


BY
DARRYL ASHTON




A CHRISTMAS TALE...DRESS REHEARSAL


Reindeer Midnight - Santa Pictures
Funny Reindeer Pictures


Christmas is coming
Everyone’s getting stressed,
The Infant Christmas Production
Is putting us to the test.

We’re on the way to Bethlehem,
The children are finally dressed,
The costumes have seen betters
days –
It’s a pity they weren’t pressed!

Joseph is teasing the donkey
Who is terribly, terribly slow
And has now stopped altogether
Because he doesn’t want to go.

We’ve got too many angels,
The stars are thick on the ground,
Yet when we ask them all to sing
It’s hard to hear a sound.

The Kings forgot the presents,
The camels haven’t appeared,
Mary is looking tearful
Just as we all had feared.

Instead of ‘Sorry, there is no
room’
The innkeeper opens the door,
He tells them they can go inside
And sit down on the floor.

The villagers are fighting,
The shepherds kick the sheep,
Some of the narrators
Are sounding half asleep.

The doll was in the manger
Now Mary takes it out,
She’s gone from tearful to
excited
And she’s waving it about.

Then comes the Grand Finale,
There’s a puddle on the floor,
It’s time to call a finish
Or there’ll be a whole lot more.

So things are just as always
Becoming extremely fraught –
But the parents will think it’s
brilliant,
That’s such a comforting thought!

The Panto was a success, that
we do now know,
All those girls and boys – they
really did all glow.
Merry Christmas to all the
children, as they all do play,
But don’t forget to go to bed
early – as Santa arrives on his
sleigh!

A drunken Santa has made it
through,
And beat the traffic queue!
He now flies home to Lapland,
With a sherry in his hand!
He shouts; “Merry Christmas,
folks, and gives a cheeky wink”,
He flies away, oh so fast – he
daren’t even blink! 
 

BY
DARRYL ASHTON


Well, it makes a change to Thomas Hardy's 'The Oxen'!

Love to you all, Sofia and Donald xxx

Friday, 1 December 2017

Light a Candle















Howde Folks,

Yes, it's December and Donald and I are still with you. Lady M is taking a long break so we will be with you into 2018. We are really excited about this and if you want to find out more about me, (Sofia) and my soul mate and lover, Donald you may read all about us in her trilogy - The Sofia Trilogy. I'm really honoured to have my name in a trilogy and as one of her titles. Start with Look After Each Other and then Sofia's Legacy. Finally, Love You Forever.


This week we have chosen her blog Light a Candle which was a Christmas one in 2010. Lady M updated it after a tsunami, tornados and floods. In the light of more recent atrocities this year we have selected it and share her plea with you... Light a Candle.



                                                              **********
In the midst of all this gloom comes brightness, a new light, which brings happiness, warmth, joy and comfort. It is the time when Christians celebrate the birth of Christ: a time of goodwill to all men, a time to forgive and forget, and a time to give and receive. There's turkey and tinsel, sherry and mince pies, carol singers singing Silent Night, trees adorned with fairy lights; holly and ivy, mistletoe, crackers, cards, decorations, and Bing Crosby singing White Christmas.

The Church prepares for Christmas throughout Advent. Each week a candle is lit as the excitement mounts for the coming of Christ. Christians remember how Mary and Joseph made the journey to Bethlehem for a census and, while there, Mary gave birth to Jesus.
The candles burn brightly in churches around the world: the flames flicker heralding the arrival of 'the light of the world'. A burning candle radiates a warm glow; it is relaxing and romantic, it dispels fear and anguish, it is a symbol of hope.
On Christmas day there will be barbecues on beaches in sunny Australia and different traditions upheld around the world. Here in Britain there may well be a blanket of white snow with robin redbreasts chirping in gardens making nature look like the traditional Christmas card scene. In homes families will drink mulled wine and celebrate by a log fire or more probably a plasma television screen! Friends and relatives will call round with the season's greetings.
It always seems like everyone is celebrating and enjoying the festive season. It is easy to forget the poor, the homeless, starving, sick, suffering and war torn areas of the world. It is easy to forget that many arguments occur at Christmas time causing separations and that some families have lost loved ones and are in mourning and feeling sorrow, not happiness.
Light a candle for the loved ones no longer with you because they have made that final journey home.
Light a candle to celebrate the coming of Christ.
Light a candle for the homeless.
Light a candle for the sick.
Light a candle for the starving.
Light a candle for the soldiers away from their families fighting for our freedom.
Light a candle to welcome people.
Light a candle to bring a warm glow into your home.


                                                           ***********
                                                   


Love to you all,

Sofia and Donald 
xxxxxx