Monday, December 19, 2011

Christiansen's Comments Hinds county Gazette December 8 2011

"Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess Jesus Christ is Lord"

I have come to believe, we Christians have become way over sensitive….

There seems to be an objection to folks saying “Happy Holidays”, the thinking is by saying “Happy Holidays” we are taking Christ out of Christmas. They want us to say “Merry Christmas”. I am not against “Merry Christmas” but I see nothing wrong with “Happy Holidays” ether.

Frankly there are many celebrations between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day that have little to do with the commemorating the birth of Jesus. Many parties! And at some of parties, you are more apt to hear “Grandma got run over by a reindeer” then “O Holy Night”.

Every year we complain…”I just want an old fashion Christmas”

Is an old fashion Christmas is out there? like we picture it… from beginning to end? Mama in her apron baking up fruitcakes and ginger bread….Daddy with the kids going to the woods to cut down the Christmas tree….then the entire family drinking hot chocolate, stringing popcorn, and decorating the tree while carolers are singing outside… Was time between Thanksgiving and Christmas ever like that? Every moment of every day?.

Often Christmas morning it is a living room full of empty boxes and piles of torn wrapping paper…cooking that has to be done, oven timers buzzing, dirty pots and pans soaking in the sink and the sound of the dish washer running…phones ringing folks explaining they will be there… but late …it is chaotic, messy, disorganized and often quite grueling….Nothing like we hoped it would be….

But I believe there is a wonderful Christmas out there to be enjoyed in this year of 2011. But it may be that it comes in little snap shots…. Last Friday evening, the St. Philip’s Parish Choir gave an Advent and Christmas Concert at St. Marks in Raymond…it was a Christ filled…the voices were full and rich… not loud. The choir sounded much larger then the sum of its singers. And when they sang ‘O holy Night’…I wish you all had been there! It was an old fashion, Norman Rockwell kind of Christmas moment taking place in beautiful little antebellum church, in small town America.

last Saturday morning I was in Bolton to deliver my caramels to St. Mary’s Christmas bazaar, when I pulled up in front of St. Mary’s, Christmas music was playing, folks were scurrying around outside, setting up tables for the chicken spaghetti dinner, they would be serving later, on the inside many hands were arranging the bazaar items and an other group was getting the silent auction organized….lots of cheerful chatter and laughter. What is more old fashion then a church bazaar? It was another Norman Rockwell moment, in a beautiful little church, in small town America

I left there and went on down the Street, pulled up in front of Gaddis McLaurin Hardware Store, The Hardware store is a vintage building. I wished I had had my camera, there were two guys, one black guy and one white guy, one standing on the sidewalk, the other was up on a ladder, they had a string of lights stretched between them, they were working… twisting and turning the lights, in an effort to get the long string disentangle, so they could be hung them from the awning… a classic Rockwell moment.

Then I traveled on back to Edwards to meet Jacqueline at the church to decorate the tables in the Fellowship Hall for the nibbles following the Sunday evening Christmas program. Jacqueline broke away from decorating to practice with Dave Harpole, Dave would be singing ‘O holy Night’ for the Sunday evening Christmas service….As I am spreading table clothes, I could hear the sound of Jacqueline playing the piano and Dave’s voice coming from the sanctuary… A Rockwell moment.

The decorating continued, then on after while, Jacqueline once again left the fellowship hall to practice with the children… children’s voices and ringing bells coming from the sanctuary…Rockwell moment.

Later in the day I took food to the Methodist Family Center, much activity, they were preparing a funeral meal for the family of their dear friend Bobby Smith, Bobby husband had died on Thursday. Bobby has played the piano at the Methodist church for years. The Methodists were doing what they could to comfort a friend. Another Rockwell moment.

Last night was the Christmas program at the Presbyterian Church, it too was magnificent, lots of talented people took part… my favorite is always the children. Rockwell moment.

Christmas can be a difficult time…we are conflicted, Christmas morning we want to see Santa coming down the chimney with a sack full of gifts and the baby Jesus laying in a manger.

I made my peace with this season…I hope God intends for me to enjoy all aspects of Christmas…. because I do!

Love to all


And I wish folks would stop trying to make other folks feel guilty about shopping…Because shopping black Friday…for that matter any shopping is not commercializing Christmas. Christmas is what is in our heart. The folks who only have the material side…of the holidays in their heart…I am hear to tell you this….stopping them from shopping is not going to fill their heart with the love of Christ.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christiansen's comments.. Hinds County Gazette.. November 24 2011

Last week, I had typed “call if you need me”, copied and pasted it to email, and I was fixing to hit “Send”, when the computer screen went blank. I tried every thing, I knew to do, to get it to come back on…turning it off and on and unplugging it, is about all I know to do….no success.

As soon as the clock said 8AM, I called Chuck, Chuck came and began working on my sick computer…He unscrewed some things, took it outside and blew air in it, it was a valiant effort. But nothing Chuck did could bring life back to my laptop computer. So, way on after while, Chuck had no choice but to pronounce my laptop dead, Ruby was her name, Ruby died of a heat stroke….she just got too hot.

But, it was not all bad…Chuck was able to resurrect my old, slow, almost dead, desk top computer…I am so pleased to have it back up and running. I like the clicking keys of a key board….I feel more productive, and so very cleaver and like a grown up setting behind a full size computer screen….

So anyway, last weeks column is lost forever…It was about my putting up the Christmas tree….and how I have come to believe, nobody actually looks at anybody else’s tree…except to give it a quick glance on their way to the beverages and nibbles….

Nobody looks and sees and wonders why there is an empty can of Gold River chewing tobacco on one of the limbs or that there are Vietnam era dog tags hanging from an upper branch. Folks are not interested in how old my kids were when they constructed ornaments out of walnuts. My kids don’t even care. The people who were actually interested in my Christmas tree have died…and John was only mildly interested….But Mother loved a Christmas tree. But for visitors, if the tree has lights and a few red balls it passes as a Christmas tree.

John's dog tags
Empty can of Gold River chewing tobacco

So keeping all of that in mind…. I only bedecked about 1/3 of my Christmas tree this year, the 1/3 that actually can be seen while standing in my living room…the other 2/3 is shoved back in the corner.

More then 2/3 of the loyal, and elderly decorations were left in the foot locker, at the end of the bed, in the back bedroom….I feel bad about that…it sort of like they didn’t get picked for the team...Here it is the holidays their only time to show off…and they are left in a dark foot locker…

I was hoping Whit might show some interest in my Christmas tree…he did but it was fleeting.

Whit briefly looks at the Christmas tree

Whit loves the attic though…last week was his first time to go up…He found one of Adam’s old Tonka trucks, and was he ever thrilled…jabbered and jabbered about it.

Whit first trip to the attic

Love to all

Be safe this holiday season and call if you need me.

PS. Remember St. Mary’s bazaar and spaghetti lunch December 4, the proceeds are going toward the continuing restoration of the beautiful old church. I am planning on making caramels for the bazaar.