Tuesday, December 7, 2010

St. Nick (December 6th)

St. Nick blessed us with many things in our stockings - so much it couldn't all fit!

The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus' words to "sell what you own and give the money to the poor," Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of MyraDiocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there was no room for the real criminals—murderers, thieves and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church, where a unique relic, called manna, formed in his grave. This liquid substance, said to have healing powers, fostered the growth of devotion to Nicholas. The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships. Under the Roman Emperor , December 6th

Advent Wreath with Children bible

So prior to dinner we had our Advent Family Devotion which is in our Family Bible.  As a family during each of the four Sundays of the Season we started praying a simple family devotion.  We lit two of the purple candles and Kari read the scripture from Isaiah 40:1-5,9-11.  Then we read petitions and responded "Prepare the way of the LORD."  Then we concluded with prayer; "Heavenly Father, we thank You for the gift of Your Son who is the Light of the World.  The light from the candles on our Advent wreath reminds us that we wait in spiritual darkness for the coming of Your Son.  Fill our hearts with the anticipation of this miraculous gift on Christmas.  may the joy of receiving Jesus be evident in our family and in our home.  With rejoicing in our hearts we pray, Amen.

Then we ate dinner, cleaned up the table, straightened up downstairs so St. Nick wouldn't see a messy hous.e Then Daddy headed up stairs with the kids to give baths while Kari did the dishes.  So we were both washing - mine just had attitude - LOL.  Once baths and pajamas were on we headed back downstairs to read about St. Nick.

The story tells of a poor man with three daughters. In those days a young woman's father had to offer prospective husbands something of value—a dowry. The larger the dowry, the better the chance that a young woman would find a good husband. Without a dowry, a woman was unlikely to marry. This poor man's daughters, without dowries, were therefore destined to be sold into slavery. Mysteriously, on three different occasions, a bag of gold appeared in their home-providing the needed dowries. The bags of gold, tossed through an open window, are said to have landed in stockings or shoes left before the fire to dry. This led to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes, eagerly awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas.  And so St. Nicholas is a gift-giver.

Once the story was over the kids were tucked in their beds.  Well Jonah was tucked in quite a few times. Then morning came and the excitement came.  The kids rushed down to see what awaited them.

Each of the kids along with us received an ornament as well we will show pictures of them later when we show the Christmas shots of the house!  We also received our Christmas book and this year it was "There was an old Lady that Swallowed a Bell."
Micah loves books!
Stickers - remember those go on paper not walls or windows!
Daddy's little helpers in the kitchen!
Now these are aprons not costumes.  As soon as Jonah put his on he ran around the house saying "Run, Run as fast as you can.  You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread man."  It was so cute I wish we had our video camera out.  We really weren't expecting that reaction so you gotta love kids and their imagination.   They bring so much joy to our lives.  Thank you St. Nick!

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