Saturday, December 13, 2014

Friday Five Warm-Up for Sermonatin'

Oh, wow--I have been lax. ANd no excuse except laziness--I am not extraordinarily busy or anything. 
So, as procrastination a warm-up exercise for my sermon, the RevGals Friday Five (only ONE day late): 
1. What song are you grooving to these days?
I have discovered PostModern Jukebox, a group that takes music of today and re-creates it as the music of yesteryear. One of my faves is Lorde's "Royals" as sung by Puddles Pity Party (The Sad Clown with the Golden Voice):

2. If YOU were a room in your home, what would it be, and why?
Well, there's an interesting question. I would like to think I am a living room/lounge/salon, welcoming all kinds of people and having all kinds of conversation.
3.  What ever happened to LipSmackers?  Does anyone remember that lip balm from the 70's?  Do you have a recommendation for a really awesome lip balm?
Yes, I remember them! I had watermelon and chocolate cherry flavours! I like Burt's Bees--comes in plain and lipstick colours.
4.  Tell us about a tiny  (or HUGE) grace moment from this week.
I worked from home on Friday because my back was giving me trouble--the grace is in the facts that I have work to do that I love, I can go to the doctor if needed, I have a warm and safe home to work in, and I have access to the technology that allows me to do that (computers, internet, electricity...). 
5.  If you could just have any treat/snack in the world right now, what it would be and with whom would you share it? (assuming you are in a sharing kind of mood.
"Gebrannte Mandeln"--Glazed Almonds, German-style, cinnamon flavour, please, and I would share with my son. He spent a couple of the early years of his life in Munich, and loved them, as do I. He's away training for the military, and I think of him every day. They are also very appropriate for the season--I always think of them in a paper "horn," still warm in my hand as we shopped the Christmas markets.
Enjoy, and please let us know you played in the comments and post a link to your blog; or play in the comments or even on Facebook!

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Rev Gals Friday Five (a day late)---O Christmas Tree!



Five for the Christmas tree! 

1) Real tree, or “fake?”
For most of my life, it was real trees only. Then my son developed asthma…and it was artificial trees for many years. Now I don’t actually put up a tree at all—mainly due to the lack of space in my apartment. I do put up a crèche and other decorations, I just don’t have the floor space for even a small tree.

2) White or colored lights?
Coloured, absolutely. I admire the beauty of all-white lights on a tree (and agreed, they are more candle-like) but I love the warmth of all the colours, red, blue, gold, purple, blue, orange, green, reflecting on the pine needles and the ornaments.

3) When do you put up and take down your tree?
It went up the second Saturday of December, usually, depending on other events (holiday parties, concerts, visitors, etc.). I hope to get my Christmas decorating done today, if I can get the sermon done and quit procrastinating .
Take down was usually New Year's Day or the Saturday after, when I was growing up. As an adult, it usually stayed up until around Epiphany--especially since my son's birthday is the day after Epiphany and we usually needed the space for the birthday celebrations.

4) Tell us about your favorite ornament (share a picture, if you can).
There are three, actually. One is a blue satin star with “icicles” that I bought at a craft fair when I was still at university. It was a couple of months after my then-boyfriend had proposed, and so it was the first thing we bought for our life together. The second is one my son made at daycare one year—a photo of him in front of a Christmas tree, encircled by a snowflake he had coloured. He was, I think, about 3 at the time. He is 25 now… Finally, a Corgi ornament, complete with scarf, given to me the year Morgan the Wonder Corgi joined our family. I miss that dog terribly and would love to own one again…the ornament reminds me of him and brings back some great memories of him at Christmas—lying under the tree, grabbing cookies someone unwisely placed on the coffee table within his reach, bouncing through the snow like a rabbit….


5) What goes on the top of your tree (again, share a photo, if possible)?
As a child, it was a steeple. Later, it was the blue star from #4. More recently, I have a lovely folk-art tin star. One of these days I will have a tree again and it will go back up.

Bonus: Are there traditions about decorating your tree that you’d like to share?
The German pickle! In the German tradition, a pickle (ornament) is hidden on the tree by the parents (I think it is supposed to remind us that life is sometimes sour, but I could be wrong). The child who finds it gets a treat. I have a heavy blown-glass one that I love.
Edited to add: I checked this out online and there seems to be a belief that this is new and not German at all. However, I can vouch for pickle ornaments of all kinds back in the early 1980's (when I lived in Germany) and German friends having them on their trees as well. It was not new to them!


When I was a kid, the whole family (well, whoever was in town) would get together, have eggnog or hot chocolate, and decorate the tree—in a very specific order (lights, bead garlands, steeple, clip-on ornaments, rest of the ornaments, icicles), while we listened to (and sang along with) Christmas carols. Last of all, the white sheet would go around the tree stand to stand for snow.