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Question of the Day - November 21, 2005

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  1. #1
    InGodsTime
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    Question of the Day - November 21, 2005

    When will you put up your Christmas decorations? Do you have a nativity scene anywhere in your house during the Christmas/New Year time?


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    trustgod
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    I will put my tree up sometime the week after Thanksgiving. I do have one nativity scene that I set up. It is rather large. I also love to decorate with snowman during Christmas time.

    JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!!!!!!


  4. #3
    Tracik
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    Our tree and ALL the decorations go up the weekend after Thanksgiving. I Love the holidays and want my decorations up as long as possible. We don't take them down until the weekend after New Years.

    We have 3 nativity Scene's... .one little people one for the kids, one small one from the "region" next to where DD was born in Gutemala, and one larger one from Guatemala. There is one I VERY much want from a local store but it is $160 and I just can't justify it.
    Wife to Tim, Mommy to 2 Guatemalan blessings
    A, Home 3/02M, Home 1/04, dx w/ALL, PH+ 4/25/08, fighting cancer & he will win

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    "What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a wish that every cup overflow with blessings & that every path leads to peace"-A.Pharo


  5. #4
    marty419
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    Like Traci, our Christmas decorations go up the weekend after Thanksgiving. We will go to the tree farm and get our tree the Saturday morning and the other decorations will follow after that.

    I have two nativity scenes. One is a nice traditional nativity scene and my other one is a beautiful nativity scene we bought in Guatemala when we completed our son's adoption. That one has very special meaning for us and we display it proudly. I didn't know Little People had a nativity, I guess I'll have to look for that one. I'd love to have one the kids could actually play with. We tell them the story of Jesus' birth and why it is so very important for us but it would be great to have one they can hold in their little hands.


  6. #5
    RobinL
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    I don't really "belong" over here (first time posting here), but I was lurking and was curious. Why do you decorate so early? Don't you observe Advent? The Advent season is a serious and reflective time for us and so we always wait until the weekend just before Christmas to decorate. Then we leave everything up until Epiphany. Just curious. Btw, I'm an Episcopalian, so maybe we do things differently.
    Last edited by RobinL; 11-22-2005 at 03:03 PM.
    Robin
    Duncan (surviving twin)--15yrs.
    Chloe Rose (angel twin)
    Sophie--11yrs


  7. #6
    BC-GoMom
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    We begin decorating Thanksgiving weekend... We work at it in stages.- we will probably be working on it the following weekend too.

    As for a nativity- I love the Fisher Price one for the kids to play with, then I have a nice one with many pcs and then I have Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus that will be placed somewhere .

    JenC


  8. #7
    Tracik
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinL
    I don't really "belong" over here (first time posting here), but I was lurking and was curious. Why do you decorate so early? Don't you observe Advent? The Advent season is a serious and reflective time for us and so we always wait until the weekend just before Christmas to decorate. Then we leave everything up until Epiphany. Just curious. Btw, I'm an Episcopalian, so maybe we do things differently.

    Welcome Robin... nice to see another Episcopal here We observe Advent but I was raised decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving so I have just stuck with that... it gives me a full month decorated which I love. Our advent festival is the 27th and we will do our advent wreath then and light the candles over advent. I take decorations down the weekend after New Years for pure simplicity reasons, DH is home to help and then I can put it all away on Monday, when DH goes in to work late.
    Wife to Tim, Mommy to 2 Guatemalan blessings
    A, Home 3/02M, Home 1/04, dx w/ALL, PH+ 4/25/08, fighting cancer & he will win

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    "What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a wish that every cup overflow with blessings & that every path leads to peace"-A.Pharo


  9. #8
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    Hi Robin
    I seem to remember the catechism (sp?) of my catholic upbringing talking about advent too, but I'm a little fuzzy on what exactly it is. I asked my husband (he's a pentacostal pastor) and got a puzzled look. We searched the Bible using our concordance and couldn't find anything. Could you please explain advent to me?

    To answer the original question - while I love Christmas I secretly detest setting up all the decorations. I'll probably put my dh off as long as I can about putting the tree up. I have a little Christmas village of houses and stuff that is really cool, but it is kind of a pain to keep the dog and daughter away from these days so I don't know if I'll set that one up at all this year. If I do, I'll post a picture because it is really cool..
    And I do have a ceramic nativity set that my mom and aunt made. It is beautiful!

    Can't wait until Christmas!
    Dawn
    Gracia's Mom
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    Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6

    I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
    2 Timothy 4:7


  10. #9
    Tracik
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    Barging in here ... hope that is OK

    I have a rough explaination... but I found this info on an Episcopal church web page. I use White candles and instead of the blue ones they talk about in the bottom write up. Also, I included definitions from an on-line Episcopal dictionary.

    **********************
    Definitions:
    Advent
    ---------
    From the Latin: Adventus: "Coming." Advent is the first season of the Church year. Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas day. The color of Advent is traditionally purple, marking the preparational aspects of the season. In Advent we prepare for our Lord's coming in three ways: at Christmas; for his coming into our hearts; and for his coming again at the end of time.

    Advent Wreath
    ---------------
    A wreath with four or five candles, used in most Episcopal churches and in some homes during the season of Advent. Four candles are placed in a circle, and a fifth may be placed in the center. One candle is lit on the first Sunday in Advent, two on the second Sunday, three on the third and four on the fourth Sunday in Advent. On Christmas day, the fifth candle is lighted.

    ******************
    Advent was the last season to be officially added to the church calendar, in about 600 AD. It was made the first season of the church year because it begins the story of the events of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. Advent always includes four Sundays before Christmas, this year (2004) beginning on November 28, 2004. Originally, in the Eastern Church, Advent focused on the Annunciation (when the angels told Mary that she would bear a son); but in the West it came to concern the first Coming at the Nativity, the future Coming at the end of time, and the present coming, through grace, to the hearts of men. Thus the themes of consciousness of the coming judgment and of joyful expectation have shaped our observance of Advent for centuries. Our Advent wreath candles, symbolizing the coming of the Light of the world, are to remind us of these themes. It has often been customary to have one rose-colored candle to symbolize joyful expectation. At St. George’s, we use Sarum (Salisbury Cathedral) blue, honoring the Virgin Mary who obediently anticipated the Incarnation, in four candles, showing unbroken progress toward the coming of the Light.

    Advent is a time of spiritual preparation, but is not as penitential a season as Lent. It is a time for calm and thoughtfulness before the hustle and bustle of preparation for Christmas.

    The Service of Lessons and Carols
    It is our custom to have a service of Lessons and Carols on the third Sunday in Advent (this year on December 12). In this service we choose scripture readings, hymns, and anthems to show, as one person put it, “the loving purposes of God as seen through the windows and words of the Bible.” This service, which originated in England at Christmas, 1880, has now been broadcast by radio and TV for more than 70 years and is a Christmas must for families and churches worldwide. The service with Advent music rather than Christmas carols is often held, and is most compelling as a preparation for the coming of Christ. Don’t miss it!

    Advent factoids
    The advent candles have been given several meanings. The candle for 1Advent is most often called “Anticipation and Hope.”

    Decorating with greens traditionally begins in Advent: “the hanging of the greens.”

    In Australia, where lighting candles doesn’t seem right in midsummer, the Southern Cross has been used as an Advent wreath: four of its stars are lit in Advent and the 5th on Christmas Eve.

    Because Advent is an opportunity to reconnect with what is deep and holy, many churches find the liturgical element of silence to be especially appropriate during this season.
    Wife to Tim, Mommy to 2 Guatemalan blessings
    A, Home 3/02M, Home 1/04, dx w/ALL, PH+ 4/25/08, fighting cancer & he will win

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    "What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a wish that every cup overflow with blessings & that every path leads to peace"-A.Pharo


  11. #10
    RobinL
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    Oh, I just wrote out a long post, but not as detailed as yours. I hope you don't mind...I think I'll post it anyway. You'll all know more than you wanted to about Advent!


    Quote Originally Posted by BC-Tracik
    Welcome Robin... nice to see another Episcopal here
    So Traci, you're the other one!!! LOL!! We're few and far between, huh?

    What is Advent? Advent is the first season of the church calendar and this Sunday (Nov. 27) is the first Sunday in Advent. New Year's Day, if you will. The Christmas season won't start until Christmas Day and it lasts for 12 days. It seems that in the secular world Christmas is the last day of the Christmas season, but really it's the first day, just the beginning. Advent means "coming" and it's during this time that we are to mentally/emotionally/spritually prepare for Christ's coming. Which one? Both! The first and the second coming! It used to be a time of penitence (a bit like Lent). It's a time to reflect and prepare our hearts to meet Jesus, both at Christmas and at the Final Judgment. It's supposed to be a serious time of self-preparation and anticipation.

    It seems that every year at this time, the minister will sneak something into his sermon about the commercialization of Christmas and the lure of advertising and how it comes earlier and earlier every year. He'll remind us that this is the time to prepare our hearts, not our houses. Not yet. He'll admit that he's old-fashioned and will wait until Christmas Eve to put up his decorations and tree. (And yet, I can't imagine when he has the time to do it!! LOL!) He knows that most of us won't wait quite that long. Okay, not even close for some! The scripture readings in church are largely about Judgment Day during this time.

    We will have a large evergreen Advent Wreath near the altar at chuch. It will have 3 blue or purple candles (last year they were blue) and 1 pink candle on it and a white one in the center. The first candle will be lit this Sunday, and each Sunday in Advent another of the 4 candles around it will be lit. Families (or couples or individuals) volunteer or are chosen to light the candles while they recite prayers aloud. The white candle in the center will be lit on Christmas Eve. In fact, just today in the mail we received a letter from church inviting us to be the ones to light the candle and read the prayers on Christmas Eve "in a continued celebration of Sophie's baptism"!! I actually cried when I read the letter! If I can get the table cleared off at home, I have my own Advent wreath that I want to use too.

    Also, there is always a large manger set on the other side of the altar. Each week the children bring up some of the figures and animals and put them in the manger. Christmas Eve is when the Jesus figure is put in the manger, never during Advent

    My mother's been looking for an Advent calendar for ds, but hasn't found one that she likes. We're running out of time! I think the kids are going to be making them at church on Sunday, but I wanted to get another one too.

    Anyway, that's how our church does Advent. I think it's probably similar at many Episcopal churches, but it's hard to generalize about Episcopalians!
    Last edited by RobinL; 11-23-2005 at 12:15 AM.
    Robin
    Duncan (surviving twin)--15yrs.
    Chloe Rose (angel twin)
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