Without the Guests…

…the preparations are in vain. It’s because of the long-awaited guests that the preparations were completed. This time of year as we remember our long awaited Savior who came to earth on that first Christmas, the preparations for my guests had more significance.  Most of my guest photos were taken by Anneliese and Lovella. Thank you for sharing girls!

Lovella brought this very cute flower arrangement as a hostess gift and I found the perfect spot for it next to my sign that Katie wrote on. It was time for the party to begin and for everyone to eat, drink and be merry!

Kathy and Lovella prepared an Antipasti Platter for us all to enjoy before we sat down to dinner.

Our daughter Katie came to help with the serving.

It was time to find our places at the table.

When everyone found their spot we sang Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow. This has become a tradition for our gatherings.

Katie made sure the soup was hot before she served each person their cup.

Between the courses we sang Christmas Carols. O Tannenbaum and Silent Night were the two chosen and sung in English and German. I wasn’t surprised by the choices my “German” guests made.

It was time to get the dessert plates ready.

After dessert we had fun popping our Christmas poppers and wearing our crowns.

Before the girls retreated to another room to open the little gifts purchased for each other, Judy handed the guys their gift for the evening.

They each got their very own apron…

I’ll add the shout out to the young man who makes these to sell once I get the information from Judy. Since we let him use our logo he gifted us with the aprons for our “boys”.

By this time my eyes were drooping but my heart was full. I’ll leave you with a few closeups and cameos…

I got a kick out of this wine bag that Bev and her guy brought us a bottle of wine in.

What a wonderful world God opened up to us “Girls” over these past several years. I’m so thankful that God brought us together and has deepened our “love for one another”.

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2: 1-4)

More Xmas 006Praying you are feeling the Joy this Christmas!

Oh Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
How steadfast are your branches!
Your boughs are green in summer’s clime
And through the snows of wintertime.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
How steadfast are your branches!

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter!
Du grünst nicht nur
zur Sommerzeit,
Nein auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your boughs can teach a lesson
That constant faith and hope sublime
Lend strength and comfort through all time.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your boughs can teach a lesson.

We had a very nice evening with our small group and it was fun to get 10 people crammed around the tree for a very friendly White Elephant Exchange. No fights erupted for any particular gift that was opened. The party was casual with lots of tasty food items to share. I was very surprised when I finally woke up this morning at 8:30! That doesn’t happen very often. We are looking forward to this weekend and the weeks to come. First off Dear will finally be relieved of being on-call. He’s been running solo for a couple weeks now. We have a fun event on Sunday to attend. It involves driving to another country.

What’s on your calendar for the weekend?

Starting Slow…

…with the Christmas decorating.

 

This sign was my one new purchase on the girls day out after Thanksgiving. It will be going up on the wall in our eating area. Here’s a little Christmas Prayer from Hilltop Verses and Prayers by Ralph Spaulding Cushman that helps me focus on what Christmas is all about.

CHRISTMAS PRAYER

Let not our hearts be busy inns,
That have no room for Thee,
But cradles for the living Christ
And His nativity.

Still driven by a thousand cares
The pilgrims come and go;
The hurried caravans press on;
The inns are crowded so!

Here are the rich and busy ones,
With things that must be sold,
No room for simple things within
This hostelry of gold.

Yet hunger dwells within these walls,
These shining walls and bright,
And blindness groping here and there
Without a ray of light.

Let not our hearts be busy inns,
That have no room for Thee
But cradles for the living Christ
And His nativity.