Friday, December 23, 2005

Over the River and Through the Woods.....

We just returned from an Eastern Illinois Whirlwind tour....visiting Todd's grandma in Charleston, Todd's Grandpa in Palestine, and his dad in Danville....all in about 36 hours! Here's a recap:

Tanks of gasoline burned: 2
Visits to McDonalds: 2
Narnia Happy Meal Toys acquired: 4
Dt. sodas with extra ice consumed: 11
Minutes it took to shop "downtown Palestine":22
Actual hours of sleep in lumpy, old bed: 4.5
Scarves knitted while traveling: 1.5
Mints from Grandad: 8
Hugs from Grandma Magruder: 4
Bowls of ice cream at Ryan's(with toppings): 3
Children throwing up ice cream at 1am: 1
Opened presents returning to our home: 12

It was good to spend some time with family. Now our house is a disaster again (of course the midnight puking didn't help my laundry situation any)and there's a long list of things to do before we leave for Bloomington. But you won't hear me complain, really....I love being with family....eating, playing cards, watching tv, doing crosswords, talking walks....that's what holidays are all about!!

I did have one memorable parent-moment as Grandad was giving us a tour of the Palestine Christmas lights....As we passed 3 houses with particularly ridiculous displays Sophia piped up, "That's not a very good Christmas decoration." "Why?" I asked her, squinting from the bright lights....."Because Christmas isn't about Santa and lights and Christmas's about Baby Jesus' Birthday!"

Whew, they're getting it.

1 comment:

Michael Tosh said...

I was excited when I looked this stuff up and I have been passing it on :-)

First, Gretchen Sophia rocks! Its great she understands the real reason for the Season!

Me and Jessica have been discussing Santa for our future children and it has been agreed we will not "lie" about what santa is. Our kids will know that he is a story. It's not an evil story. It, like all kid stories can teach a good leason, but he will be just that a bedtime story. Santa will be a extremely small part of our christmas. He is on the same level as a cartoon on tv. We plan to talk St. Nicolas a little and Jesus constantly.

But I was surprised when I found out that the Christmas tree (originally just described as the fir tree) is actually an older tradtion then the celebration of christmas! The Nativity Scene goes back to 1223. (I did some history research...those crazy history majors...)
What we refer to the "Christmas tree":

"The Christian tradition of the Christmas tree dates to about 724 in Germany" (actually the refered to as the "fir tree" at this point)

"One of the first documented reports of Christmas trees in America was in 1747 among the German Moravian immigrants in Bethlehem"

Nativity Scene:

"It is St. Francis of Assisi who is credited with creating the first Nativity Scene. He had developed a special devotion to the feast of Christmas after his trip to the Holy Land and Bethlehem. In 1223..."


The word for Christmas in late Old English is Cristes Maesse, the Mass of Christ, first found in 1038, and Cristes-messe, in 1131.

So actually the "Christmas Tree" pre-dates the celebration of Christmas! The "fir Tree": "the fir tree became part of the German Christmas tradition, then spread to other parts of the world."

For more info you can read my blog:

I thought you might find some of this stuff interesting :-)(This of course doesn't make the Christmas Tree more important that Christmas, but he does put a perspective on the fact it is definitly a Christian tradition.)

God Bless and Merry Christmas!