Silent Night… Holy Night… All is calm… Draw near to gaze… Come and Worship… Saints before the alter bending… Rejoice, with heart and soul and voice… O tidings of comfort and joy… this Holy tide of Christmas doth bring redeeming grace… the world in solemn stillness lay… O hush the noise, ye men of strife… O rest beside the weary road… How still we see thee lie… deep and dreamless sleep… Fall on your knees… the Spirit felt its worth… one seems to hear words of good cheer from everywhere filling the air… (all these words are from Christmas Carols)
DO THESE PHRASES DESCRIBE YOUR CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION?
December used to be the busiest month of the year for me. From church events to personal parties and performing at other people’s events to… I don’t know what all. But by News Years Day I was so exhausted “Peace on Earth” seemed a distant memory.
This year I am slowing December down. My calendar is mostly empty and I will be keeping close to home and just relaxing and taking it much slower. We are planning to have a Christmas Hour every day where we do just a little something as a family to enjoy the celebration of Jesus. Read a story, play a game, or just sit in front of the fireplace and watch the lights on the tree flicker. I’ve turned down a bunch of speaking engagements despite the financial need to do them and postponed several projects to January and expect to get very behind on e-mail.
Why? Because I want to experience a December where my family is truly really FIRST like it never has been before.
All I want for Christmas this year is some peace and quiet.
Enjoy this video:
Let me encourage you to not overbook this month… leave some blank days on the calendar. Have some days where all you do is enjoy the day. Put off anything that can be put off. Before every urgent thing ask yourself, “Come June, will it matter whether I did this in December or January?” You might just find yourself doing some GODLY PROCRASTINATION!
My Blog Readers always get the inside scoop! So you can be the first to know that I have written an Order of the Ancient Short Story called: Josiah and the Mysterious Child. (A Christmas Special!) I get lots of requests for “Book 2″ – so this is my way to try and answer the calls for the further adventures of Brent Camdon.
This 12 page mini-novelette will be released on Kidology.org as a PDF download early in December. (I will update this post when it is live) It is currently being reviewed by a few select readers (several are expert kids!) and edited… and will be available soon!
The unedited teaser has been removed. The complete story is now available on Kidology.org:
It was a real treat to get to spend this Thanksgiving in Williamsburg, VA. I know that was last week – but after posting about leaving, arriving, meeting up with friends, and more friends, and about an awesome kids pastor, matching sweaters, and even trash cans I took a break from my computer from Wednesday through Sunday and it was wonderful to be off line for several days in a row. Now that I am caught up on the hundreds of e-mails I got behind on… I thought I’d finally post about Thanksgiving.
It was like traveling back in time! Except for all the people wearing weird clothes… referring to myself and the other tourists. I actually thought it would be an interesting idea to have an area where you had to be in period costume to get in, that would be fun. (But then the digital camera would still be a give away!)
I tied Luke to a horse post as I explained to him what it was. Seconds later, a carriage came by and the driver called out that Luke was tied where he was going to be shortly!
Luke watching the horse and carriage.
Mom and Luke in front of one of the fruit wreaths, one of Sara’s favorite things in Williamsburg.
We tried on the hats but decided a picture was less expensive than spending over $40 for two hats. I’ll wait until he is older and can enjoy the dressing up. (I can’t wait actually, it was fun seeing the little boys in hats with guns and swords strapped to their belts.)
Luke’s cousins joined us for Thanksgiving Day, but I had to sentence them to the stocks for being too sweet.
I tried to put Luke in the baby stocks, but he wasn’t too thrilled about the idea!
I enjoyed seeing the recreated buildings and imagining what life must have been like for those who forged this New World for us. But not everything was re-created.
This church has been here for a very long time… here is the sign:
I bet your church hasn’t had continual services since 1715! (wow) I’d like to get a perfect attendance button for that!
The next time we come here, I want to come with an outfit like this. There were a lot of people just walking around in period costumes. It really brought the town to life.
It made it easy to imagine you were there when our country was being born.
Even George Washington showed up and gave a stirring speech. He seemed uneffected by all the strange looking people who had traveled through time to hear him.
There was even a colonial marching band that went down the street:
I would HIGHLY recommend this as a vacation spot, especially for families with kids ages 1st – 4th grade. We will probably wait 3-4 years and then definitely be back so that we can do more with Luke.
The PERFECT THANKSGIVING DINNER! (as with all images, click for a larger image!) Yes, that is turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing and corn… and pizza, pretzels, mac & cheese and a rice krispie treat laced with chocolate. Best Thanksgiving Dinner ever!
We ate at the Great Wolf Lodge buffet – Sara enjoyed having no cooking and I enjoyed no clean up! And we may stay here next time, check out the indoor water park:
and this is only ONE view… it is massive!
The only bummer of the trip was saying goodbye to our nephew and niece (and their parents) who we don’t get to see often enough.
A mother who loved Jesus and her children and teaching children about Jesus. (this is my mom with Sara back when we were dating)
A dad who loved serving God but always had time to take his son on adventures. And on these adventures he took the time to teach me life lessons that I still remember today.
My other mom by marriage who demonstrates by her loving attitude grace and hospitality wherever she goes. It is no secret where my wife’s gentle and quiet spirit and forgiving heart comes from.
Another dad by marriage whose love for the lost is an inspiring example and who loves retelling any story that shows how God can change lives.
A wife who loves her husband and little boy the way Jesus loves us – with grace and kindness and lots of patience.
A little boy who made me a Dad overnight and changed my life forever.
And who looks up to me no matter what. The love of a child is a precious undeserved gift. I now know what it meant for God to give his only begotten son… for me!
OK, WHAT DO ALL THESE HAVE IN COMMON?
They are what I am most thankful for on Thanksgiving Day. Of course, there are many other things I’m thankful for as well – but parents, wife, and my little boy top the list. There are other family I am thankful for, friends that have modeled Christlike friendship, staff that I don’t know what I’d do without, and so much more.
But mostly I am thankful for the Cross
and to Jesus my Savior, Forgiver and Friend.
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14