A Christmas Medley of History, Celebration, and Preparation

This time of the year is loaded with something few of us ever consider in our modern era of controlled efficiency. It is loaded with magic, the very stuff of fairy tales. It is a time, if you stop to consider, that is absolutely ripe with the anticipation of light, wonder, darkness, beauty, gifts, birth, baking, animals, stables, Mary, Joseph, the winter solstice, memories, Emmanuel God with us, warfare, angels, memories, and the aching power of romance. Christmas as we know it today is one of the most wonderful times of the year for me. I wanted to put together some of the the things that I do to get my heart ready for this special season. Some that I have done for years, and some of the new things that God has romanced my heart with to make this time of the year more magical than ever.

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I encourage you to stop and pray over this time. Consecrate this time to the Lord. All good things are opposed and you need to be ready to invite the kingdom into all the time of romancing and beauty. God is so good to come and make things so much better than we could have ever imagined when we ask.

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Christmas is so wonderful, but have you ever considered how we came to celebrate the way we do? For example, why do we put up a fir tree? Why all the red and green? The carols we sing–where does this all come from? I love history, and you can always go back to history to understand yourself and the customs you take part in. One of the ways God has romanced my heart this year is through a series put out by BBC called The Victorian Farm Christmas and The Tudor Monastery Farm Christmas. These Christmas series are filmed at historical farms and villages in England. They are not considered a “reality” series, but rather a re-living history series. These documentaries are put on by Ruth Goodman, who is a domestic historian, Peter Ginn, Alex Langland, and Tom Pinfold, who are all historians and archaeologists. It has brought immense joy to me and all my family, and is sure to be part of our Christmas traditions in the years to come. You will have a greater appreciation for the Christmas celebration after watching these series. You will also feel a deep appreciation for all the work our ancestors put into their traditions. You can watch both the Tudor Monastery Farm Christmas and the Victorian Farm Christmas episodes on YouTube here:

Victorian Farm Christmas-episode 1

Victorian Farm Christmas-episode 2

Victorian Farm Christmas-episode 3

Tudor Monastery Farm Christmas

(Note: BBC has done several of these historic farm series, but unfortunately, they are not available in the U.S. You can look them up on YouTube, but the quality of the picture is a little hit or miss. We personally feel like they are worth a watch anyway and are truly grateful for the people who have uploaded them for the rest of us to enjoy. If you are in Europe, the DVD’s are available on Amazon for Zone 2 DVD players. There is an accompanying book for each series however, that are available for purchase in the U.S.)

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Since my sister and I moved into our new home we have decided to do more than we were able to do at our previous home. Some traditions are new, others are the same. Every year Christmas starts with the tree being put up. This is always exciting because we always buy ornaments on clearance at the end of year that will be new for the tree the following year. We always watch “A White Christmas” with Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and Danny Kaye. We know all the words by heart. We are pathetic!!!! I personally like to read “The Christmas Carol” by Dickens. I like to try to finish in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve!!! Great book!!! We will be making wreaths this year which is new for us. We will both write Christmas cards to those we love. The cards are either sent off or attached to tins of cookies which are given out to friends and neighbors. We will bake until we have loads of cookies to fill all our tins. We created a Christmas channel on Pandora. We will celebrate with all we have been blessed with, and we will send a prayer up in hopes of a white Christmas.

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In the world we live in, there is so much in the media to discourage and bring a sense of fear, but we as women have always been the ones to bring celebration to our homes, families, churches, and communities. Fight for this time of the year, because we need to bring wonder and beauty to a world desperate for hope. We are the bearers of something so powerful:

Celebration.

It makes heaven come nearer than anything.

Have a Merry and Blessed Christmas!!! ~Starla

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