Tag Archives: Christmas Decorations

Christmas Dinner “Take Out”

15 Dec

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

The Christmas dinner I wrote about last week, gave me an unexpected “take out.” I didn’t ask for it and would have gladly left it there, but alas, it was somehow sent home with me and for the next twelve days I found myself changed into a cough factory. To complicate matters, I decided to bring out my stubborn panties and refused to see a doctor. After nine days, I waved the tissue of surrender and visited a walk in clinic. And voila, three days later I am on the mend.

As I am writing this, the sweet Holy Spirit tapped me on my heart, reminding me that the nasty cough is a learning opportunity. The next time I get my panties in a wad, don’t wait until I am miserable before taking the problem to the ultimate physician.

Ok, moving on… At our home in the North Carolina mountains, I like to celebrate the seasons and my favorite way is with an entryway display. I am not a crafty sort of person. Well, I can be devious, but I am talking about being crafty in an artsy sort of way, so this is a stretch for me. Over Thanksgiving I asked Rebekah to help me do something special for Christmas. I have an old Windsor chair that is the central piece. ( I think my mother rescued it from a trash heap)

Usually, I add a woven basket and fill it with shiny Christmas ball and pinecones, but this year I wanted to change it up. Our town in Florida recently was blessed with a Hobby Lobby store and the abundance of Christmas stems had me itching to use them.

I wanted the items in the display to have a story and as my mind make a mental inventory of items I could repurpose, I remembered a butter churn that came from my grandparents farm. It was old and dull and the paddle was broken. It lived at my parents home. One year my mother and husband worked together to give it a fresh coat of paint and fashion a new paddle. They gave it to me as a Christmas gift, a labor of love and I have treasured it. I decided it would make a perfect “vase”.

Rebekah helped me choose white, glittery poinsettia to go with the rather dashing red and green spray-ish  stem I had chosen to give it height. In some leftover Christmas supplies I found  red mesh ribbon and we tied it around the churn and attached a glittery bow ornament. ( Can you tell I am in a glittery phase) Now the poor paddle looked naked and lonely, so I rummaged through discarded tree decorations and found some tightly wound tinsel. We wrapped it around the paddle handle and it looked good, but was missing something. Rebekah pulled out a tree topper that was too heavy for our current tree. It is made of beaten metal and the lights gleam through Mickey Mouse ear shaped holes. Perfect!

For the chair, I decided to use a precious quilt a friend had made for me out of pieces of my mother’s favorite clothes.  We spread it over the chair, then placed a white stuffed bear, a discard from a grandchild, on the seat. I thought he looked a bit bare, so I went through drawers and found a pair of Sponge Bob Square Pants Christmas boxers. They were used one Christmas when the whole family wore Christmas PJs.  I slid them on and although they are too big and droopy, I like them. Memories are better than making a fashion statement. We added a Christmas pillow and a couple of small stuffed friends and the display was complete. It certainly is not elegant but the glow I feel when I pass it, makes it beautiful to me.


If you look closely you can see the star lights on the paddle top, peeping through the shiny stem.

Ten days until Christmas!

After Christmas…

5 Jan


 Judy Wills

Judy Wills


Christmas is such a joyous time.  I love the decorations – not only at our house – but also those that the neighbors put up.  Ours is rather tame compared to some of our neighbors, but that’s okay…….we have what WE enjoy!


I love the season that reminds us that our Savior was born – to bring us life everlasting in His presence.  I’m sorry that society has made it into something so commercial, that so many people can’t see past the glitter to see God’s handiwork.  We received an e-mail from some friends who are working with Wycliffe Bible Translators, telling of some translators in Nigeria who were working on Luke 2:7, where “She [Mary] gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.”  After pondering the word “manger” the locals used a word.  When the Wycliffe translator asked what that word meant, they said it was a “cradle” hung by ropes where the newborn could be laid and it could be swung.

The Wycliffe translator tried to get them to understand that was not what happened – that Jesus came in the lowest possible way, that it wasn’t just a matter of tradition. God expects us to find the words that express the original meaning as accurately as possible. Furthermore, this word tells us something profound about God.  “When He came to live among us and bring salvation to us, He came in the lowliest way possible. He did not come and sleep in a nice rope-hung cradle like every mother wants for her newborn.  Instead, He showed us his unbelievable humility.  So we need to find your best word for an animal feeding trough.”

Suddenly the one who had argued most loudly for the traditional term offered, “We feed our animals out of an old worn-out basket that is not usable anymore except to feed the animals. We have another word for it.” 

And so they used that word. 

That story reminded me of a man in our church who works on the Jesus film for the Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru).  He said that there was a translator working with the team in Africa going from village to village, and he would translate.  But it wasn’t until they took the film to HIS village, and he heard the story in his heart language that he finally understood the message of Christ!

God has made it so very easy for us to know and find Him.  In the “after-Christmas” we must hang on to the message that God sent his one and only Son to be born in the lowliest way possible, and grow into the man who would die for our sins, so we can live forever in His presence. 

How very great is our God!! 

 Psalm 8:9

Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

%d bloggers like this: