Christmas

As Christmas ends in all of its bright lights, Santa 🎅🏻 wrapped gifts 🎁, and loudly playing carols 🎼, let us not forget the true joy behind this holiday: Jesus.

It really is amazing how Jesus humbled Himself not only to the point of death on a cross....but that  He also chose to be born as a babe.   Think about it.:

Jesus who left the golden glories of perfect heaven to come down where imperfection is sowed deeply. Jesus who traded comfort and ease for a world of sin, pain, and suffering. Jesus who set aside His rightly given crown and wore one of thorns. Jesus who put away His heavenly robes for those of this earthly life. Jesus who was tempted. Persecuted. Deserted. Made fun of. Beaten. Spit upon. Jeered at. Ridiculed. Anxious.

This same Jesus who told Moses, tell them I AM sent you.

Exodus 3 14:

I AM…LOVE. I AM…GRACE. I AM…COMPASSION. I AM…HOPE. I AM…PEACE. I AM came.

 

 

Merry Christmas.

 

The Christmas Angel ~ Creative Writing

Bam. Bam. Bam. The firing of guns echoed in the distance. Crimson, auburn, and gold exploded onto the scene and rained down like fire from the sky. Screams filled the landscape in a horrible, eerie lullaby to woe one to sleep. But this sleep, was death.

Andy Miller laid on the hard earth, pain ricocheting through his body faster than he could count. His left arm was bent at an unholy angle, and any movement he made caused a cry to escape his throat. Should’ve known not to take that chance…he thought, remembering what caused him to be in this position in the first place.

He and the rest of the fellows in the patrol, had heard there was an opportunity to break through in the lines. And like any young fool, they decided to take the chance.

It was the worst decision of his twenty-four-year-old life. Everything had gone horribly wrong. From the moment they had bulged through and began fighting, Andy knew that the odds of each one of them going home alive, were slim.

Tears streaked down his ashen coated face, creating streaks down his skin. God, I’m sorry I was such an idiot. Please take care of my family…prayed Andy mentally, thinking about his parents and siblings. What would they do when they heard the news? Because as much as he would like to believe, that he would come out of this alive, in all truthfulness, Andy Miller realized that would not happen. He had an arm that was barely hanging on, ribs likely broken, and who knew what other kind of internal damage he might have?

~~~

Celeste looked at the poor man in sorrow. War…such a dreadful, horrible, terrible, completely unnecessary thing! And at Christmastime no less! thought the angel sadly, tender heart breaking at the scene before her.God's Love | ... From Ann And The Angels – 2 June 2012 ~ | Love And Light Portal:

Celeste.

“Yes Lord?”

Remember what you have to do. I know you love Christmas…and matchmaking, but try not to get distracted.

“Yes, sir. I’ll try my very, very best!” Celeste had just completed the Christmas Angel program, a very important program. It was the same one that the angels who appeared to the shepherd’s had gone through.

She took her job quite seriously. And now, she was about to appear to her first Christmas assignment.

“Fear not, fear not, fear not,” Celeste chanted as she began to appear. She could not mess this up. And how could someone mess up saying two words? Well, Celeste supposed, that she would be the first to do that.

~~~

Andy had pretty much resigned himself to the fact that his end would be death. Not exactly what someone wants to think about…during the Christmas season. But then again…Suddenly, his eyes – which had been partially closed – fluttered open.

What on earth? Is that – ? It couldn’t be. Wow. I really must be dying…thought Andy Miller, as he looked at the figure bathed in shining light.

She had white-blonde hair, in a slew of unruly curls, and was currently bouncing on the toes of her feet. A brilliant smile rested on her face. Behind her, rose a pair of beautiful wings, matching the angelic appearance.

Angelic. Land sakes, that’s an angel!

~~~

Celeste had just appeared before the injured soldier. The man looked absolutely dumbfounded, and with what little movement he could make, seemed to be in a great deal of shock. Oh! Poor dear! So close to death around Christmas – of all things! But, he will not be dying today! thought Celeste triumphantly, then reminding herself to focus.

“Fear not,” she began, squealing inwardly at not messing up the words. Holly berries and candy canes! I did it! Praise you, Lord! cheered her mind happily. “Even in such a dismal place, you – Andy Miller, are not going to die. This is the month of our Lord’s birth, and He has graciously given you a second chance at life. Tomorrow – ”

All of a sudden, a voice croaked out, “Are you an angel? Or am I just hallucinating?”

Blinking, Celeste stared at him for a single second. “A hallucination? No, no. I am one-hundred-percent real. Nothing pretend about me!”

“Alright, if you say so.”

Celeste sighed. She would not let this deter her! And, to be fair, soldiers had experienced hallucinations before, so it wasn’t too crazy for him to be thinking that. Especially, in the state that he was in. “Well, anyway, tomorrow you will be rescued by a platoon,” she hoped that was the correct term. All of these army words got mixed up in her already scattered mind. “You will see me again, between now and the time when you will return to the U.S.”

Then, she disappeared.

~~~

True to Celeste’s words, Andy Miller did not die that day. He was rescued, as told by the angel, and instantly taken to a hospital. Because of his dire condition, Andy’s left arm had to be amputated along with some broken ribs which had to be wrapped and treated. There were a few other injuries, but none as severe as the amputee.

As of yet, Andy had not seen Celeste since. And in all honesty, wasn’t even sure if she was real or not.

~~~

Celeste squealed inwardly. She could not wait for this. Of course, there was no guarantee that her match-making would work…Shaking her head, she smiled. It would work. After all, it was the Christmas season! And Christmas was all about love!Want to learn how to French Fishtail Braid your own hair? Click on this pin to watch the tutorial on how to recreate this classic hairstyle. This is serious #braidedhairgoals! <3:

“Stop one, check on Ella Collins. Then, go see Andy Miller. Lastly, lots of praying,” said Celeste to herself as she prepared for the young physical therapist to get out of her car.

Ella had cinnamon locks that were tied back in a pretty fishtail braid. Her blue working attire, matched her grey-opal eyes wonderfully. And, as an inside source, Celeste knew that Ella was exactly the same age as Andy: twenty-four. Perfect.

And, here we go! thought Celeste, appearing in front of the young woman.

~~~

Late last night, Ella had received a call from her superior that a young army veteran had been admitted. He had recently had his left arm amputated and was in need of physical therapy. Even though it was last minute, Ella was never one to turn down a challenge – and so she accepted.

But this figure with wings. Yeah. Not exactly what Ella Collins was expecting.

“Fear not, Ella Collins. I have come here to bring you wonderful news!” exclaimed, what a dumbfounded Ella could only assume was an angel, “the patient you are now going to see, is none other than your soulmate.”

Soulmate. Well, that was the most illogical statement Ella had ever heard. Sure, it sounded all nice and Hallmark-like (and she did love a good Christmas movie), but soulmates? That was just fiction. “I’m sorry, I think you have the wrong person.”

The angel frowned. “You don’t believe me,” she huffed unhappily, “humans. And in the Christmas season no less.” She furrowed her brow, thinking intently, before a happy smile came on her face. “Never mind, you will see that I am right. Have a merry Christmas!”

And Ella’s mouth dropped open as the angel disappeared.

~~~

Entering into the hospital room, Ella – who never tripped – had a sudden, humiliating experience. She fell onto the bed that her patient was sitting on. Horrible.

“I am so sorry!” exclaimed Ella quickly, scrambling upward as an awful blush coated her fair cheeks. She stole a glance at the patient, and was reluctant to admit, that at the very least, he was an attractive person.

The man shrugged. “Don’t worry about it.”

A beam of light shot into the room, causing the two young people to instantly be on alert. But of course, it was only Celeste. The angel had a happy expression on her face as she came closer to the hospital bed.

“I’m so glad you two finally met!”

“Ohhhh dear, you were actually real,” mumbled Ella, eyes widening.

Andy, turned his head towards the physical therapist. “You’ve seen her too?”

“Yeah. Earlier, in the parking lot.”

Celeste grinned. “I am very real Ella, and she already knows, but I haven’t told you, yet, Andy. You two are soulmates!” The angel beamed at them.

With his right hand, he rubbed the back of his neck. “Do you believe her?”

“Of course not! That-that’s completely illogical!”

At that, Andy cracked a small smile. “Well, the fact that I am alive is completely illogical. She,” he pointed at Celeste, “appeared to me as I was dying, and told me I would live. Believe what you want, but as crazy as it sounds, at this point,” he shrugged, “heck. Anything could be true.”

Ella frowned, but could not find it in herself to refute him.

“Oh! Would you look at that? Mistletoe!” exclaimed Celeste innocently.Image result for mistletoe with bell

Great. She’s not going to be satisfied until we kiss. Well. I am absolutely not doing that, but if it will get her to leave…thought Ella, resigning herself to this situation. She leaned over – and what Ella meant to only be a kiss on the cheek – ended up being one on the lips, when Andy unintentionally turned his head.

And though both were too stubborn to admit it, they did not hate it. As for Celeste, she grinned happily as the tiny bell on the magical mistletoe dinged. “Oh! I have done it! It dinged, that means they’re destined for true love!” she clapped her hands together gleefully, “Save me a seat at the wedding…future Mr. and Mrs. Miller.”

Then, the Christmas angel disappeared.

©2016 Lanie Dean. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

The History of the Candy Cane

candy canes

With Christmas in only two days (how crazy is that?), I thought that it would be appropriate to do a Christmas post. And because I love history, I decided that learning about the origins of the candy cane would suffice perfectly.

During the seventeenth century, Christians in Europe began to make use of Christmas trees as part of their celebrations during Christmas. Homemade decorations were fashioned for them – many being edible items like sugar-stick candy and cookies.

The year 1670 is when the first, actual reference to the candy cane comes into play. At Cologne Cathedral in Germany, the choirmaster bent sugar-sticks into canes in order to represent the shepherd’s staff. These solid white candy canes were then handed out to the children throughout the nativity services.

This custom of handing out the white sugar-sticks during long church services, spread all through Europe and in later years to America.

Interestingly, before 1900 there is no mention of the candy cane ever having red stripes. The person who added the signature red is still unknown, however, Christmas cards after 1900 clearly depict the striped candy. During this same century, candy makers began to add wintergreen and peppermint flavors to the favorite Christmas treat. These quickly caught on and as we now know, are favorites among most people.

The meaning of the candy cane varies, but for Christians, it has special meaning. Red represents the blood of Christ, while the white his purity. Although the shape is said to be reminiscent of a shepherd’s staff, it is also told to be the “J” in Jesus’ name.

And there you have it! The history of the candy cane. I hope y’all enjoyed learning about a bit of Christmas history and I pray that each time you see a candy cane or lick its delicious sugary goodness, you are reminded of the very great sacrifice that Jesus gave: his life.

Merry Christmas y’all!

~ Southern Dreamer

Resource:

http://inventors.about.com/od/foodrelatedinventions/a/candy_canes.htm

Festive Wear

Merry Christmas y’all! I can hardly believe it is already December! The months have flown by, and now it is time to get our holiday cheer on! Fashion during the holidays can be ridiculously fun, and I have put together a list of how to show your Christmas spirit through what you wear.

1. Christmas pajamas (Don’t laugh. I am completely serious here 😉)
Everyone needs a good pair of pajamas, and the holidays are no exception. Even if no one else sees you in them, you will have done your holiday duty by wearing your candy canes, snow men, or reindeer proudly – and who knows, you may even start dreaming of sugar plums and chocolates!

2. Red or green top
You know that Christmas dinner you weren’t quite sure what to wear to or perhaps a holiday party that had you in a frenzy because there was absolutely nothing in your closet that sufficed? Well. Have no fear! For the guys, pairing either a checkered red or green top with a matching, plain polo sweater works perfectly! Or, if that’s not your cup of tea, you can pair a plain button-up white top with a fun, decorative Christmas sweater. 


For the girls, I’m personally a fan of sequin dresses (obviously paired with leggings) which come in a multitude of colors. If you aren’t the girly sort, however, that’s perfectly fine! A snug maroon or emerald top paired with a skirt or jeans and a jacket can be just as festive!

3. Christmas earrings
Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way – oops. The Christmas lyrics snuck right up on me. Sneaky song. But jingle bell earrings are particularly joy-some to wear during the holidays! Although those are my personal favorite festive earring style to wear, stores also sell ones with snow men and snowflakes. You can find some at Claire’s.

4. Christmas sunglasses
I think I will let the picture speak for itself…after all, a picture is better than a thousand words right? Or something like that…

tcp3

I hope y’all have been inspired to get your holiday clothes out and demonstrate your Christmas spirit through fashion!

~ Southern Dreamer

 

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas…

Hey y’all!

I am so so so sorry I have not posted in a while! Life has been pretty crazy! BUT I am back! Yay! 🙂

Can y’all believe it is already December 6? That means we have only 19 days until Christmas! Wow!

19 days Like me, I am sure all of y’all are bustling around trying to get just the right gifts for everyone on your Christmas list. The past couple of years, I have made one homemade present for each of my immediate family. And every year they love them! (Hurrah!) So, in the spirit of Christmas, here are several DIY ideas for homemade gifts.

1. “Open When…”

This is a great and easy option especially for all of y’all out there who struggle with crafts and that sort of thing. All you have to do, is grab however many envelopes you want, and at the top write “Open When…” and then in the middle you could write any of the following or make up some of your own:

– “…you need to know I love you.”

– “…you want to laugh.”

– “…you miss me.”

And of course, you must not forget to put something inside the envelope! Otherwise, the entire idea of the project falls apart.

http://dadmumbaby.com/3-diy-gifts-Christmas/

open when

2. DIY Sharpie Mug

Now if these are not the cutest little cups you have ever seen I don’t know what will be! 😉 For this enjoyable task, you will need a plain ceramic cup or mug and DecoArt glass paint markers (you can use Sharpies, however, the design will come off in the wash if you do so). This homemade item is fairly simple as well, although, you will want to have a steady hand.

DIY sharpie

3. Gifts In A Jar

If you’re like me, and adore browsing through the DIY section of Pinterest (which is where I got all these fabulous ideas from!), then I am positive you have heard of “gifts in a jar.” This is a very versatile and simple gift to make. All you need is a mason jar, some pretty Christmas ribbon, measuring cups, and whatever ingredients you choose to put inside. The choices for this, truly are limitless! You could do a brownie, cookie, or even a cake mix (yum!). Not to mention dips and soups! Don’t forgot to attach the recipe to the jar or your recipient will be left with a lot of dry mix and nothing to do with it.

http://www.squawkfox.com/2008/12/02/holiday-gifts-8-homemade-gifts-in-a-jar-with-free-printable-gift-tags/

gifts in a jar

4. Erase Board Frames

Number four on my list of DIY ideas for Christmas gifts, could not possibly be easier! Materials needed consist of a small or medium sized frame (nothing expensive), sheets of notebook paper, dry erase markers, and some fun ribbon that corresponds to the personality of the recipient. All that has to be done is where the picture normally goes in the frame, insert the notebook paper. Then close the back and glue an adorable bow onto one of the corners of the frame. Done! How easy is that? 🙂

erase board

5. Peppermint Lotion Bars

Another neat – and good-smelling – gift, these little bars will be sure to make your mom, sister, daughter, or wife happy! As the steps for this one are a bit more in-depth than the last four, I am posting the link below for y’all.

http://edsnapshots.com/peppermint-lotion-bars-gifts-kids-can-make/

lotion bars

I hope one of these DIY gift ideas will make its way under your Christmas tree! I know I certainly will be testing one or two of these incredible projects out. I hope y’all have a wonderful week! And a shoutout to Pinterest for supplying these awesome choices!

– Southern Dreamer

*I myself have yet to complete one of these DIY ideas, so I am not completely sure whether they will work or not.