Thursday, 25 December 2014

Te Harinui - glad tidings of great joy

Christmas greetings from my home to yours.
As you open your Christmas gifts pause for a moment to remember 
why we celebrate at this time of the year. 

'For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son
so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish 
but have eternal life'.

Two hundred years ago on December 25th, 
Samuel Marsden preached the first sermon on new Zealand soil 
to the Maori people and the pakeha (europeans)
 who were in Oihi Bay at the time. 
Today we commemorate that momentous event
 as we celebrate the birth of our saviour.

Let me finish with a well loved New Zealand carol
written in 1957 by Willow Macky.

Te Harinui 

  1. Not on a snowy night 
    By star or candlelight 
    Nor by an angel band 
    There came to our dear land
    Te Harinui 
    Te Harinui 
    Te Hari-nu-i 
    Glad tid-ings of great joy

  2. But on a summer day 
    Within a quiet bay 
    The Maori people heard 
    The great and glorious word
  3. The people gathered round 
    Upon the grassy ground 
    And heard the preacher say 
    I bring to you this day
  4. Now in this blessed land 
    United heart and hand 
    We praise the glorious birth 
    And sing to all the earth

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas
and all you hope for during 2015.
Merry Christmas,

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Walk through Christmas

This year at church we are having a 'Walk through Christmas' rather than a production. It is open to anyone who wants to come and we have it on for three days altogether. A couple of us have been working on the concept for about 4 months and about halfway through a team joined us to do do sewing, baking, painting and building. It's been so satisfying and a lot of fun.

So let me walk you through Christmas.

Mary is visited by an angel who tells her she will give birth to God's son. 
We made a cut out figure so little, or big, girls could have their photo taken if they wanted. 

Nine months later Mary and Joseph are making their way to Bethlehem 
to take part in the census decreed by Caesar Augustus. 
Mary is said to be riding on a donkey.

We were able to have a donkey for the children, and adults, to interact with.
They were able to feed her with carrots or apples 
and some of the boys had a go at brushing her down.
Everyone loved her. She was so quiet and gentle.

It was a long three day journey to Bethlehem.

As they approached Bethlehem Mary was due to give birth but there was no room left anywhere for them to stay. They found accommodation in a stable and Mary gave birth and wrapped her baby in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger.

Angels also appeared to shepherds who were tending their flocks in the fields
 and told them of the birth of a saviour. 
" Unto you is born today in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord". Luke Ch. 2 verse 10. 
The shepherds decided to go and find the baby and when they had found him in the stable with his parents they worshipped him and went out and told the rest of the community.

The sheep were a collaboration between the Sunday school kids 
and some of the adults. 
The kids drew, copied and painted them and the adults cut them out.

Meanwhile there were three wise men, (kings, astronomers),
who were travelling from the East in search of the child. 
They called on King Herod to ask directions, saying
"Where is He that is born King of the Jews?
 For we have seen his star in the east and have come to worship him".
 Matthew Ch. 2 verse 2.
Herod was rather worried about this as he was King but he told them to go 
and find this new king and to come and tell him when they found him. 
Herod planned to kill the baby but the wise men were warned by God 
in a dream and after visiting the stable and presenting their gifts they returned home by a different route.


There is a film clip depicting the shepherds and also a chance
 for the kids to ice and decorate some star biscuits
 before they follow the star trail into Bethlehem. 
Mums and Dads get Christmas cake or truffles to nibble on 
while they are waiting for the kids to finish creating.
When they arrive at the stable everyone who wants to can dress up 
and have their photo taken in the stable with the baby.

Those who have been through so far seem to have enjoyed themselves.


I hope you enjoy what is left of the lead up to Christmas.
On Friday I am heading back into town with my girls 
and leaving my GKB behind. I have shopping to finish
and when I told him I the area I intended to cover
he decided to give it a miss. Coward, haha.


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Jimmy and Santa - a story for kids


Jimmy wasn't very happy. He'd been off school for a couple of days with a bit of a bug and today he still wasn't quite right so Mum said he could stay home one more day. Mum was going into town to finish the Christmas shopping and said he could go too. He didn't mind doing  that, he might be allowed to go and see Santa at the mall. The trouble was it was all girls going - his Aunty Jay, Gran, his big sister Beth and his even bigger cousin Rose. Not much fun with that lot, he thought. But he trudged along with them anyway, looking in girly sort of shops that didn't interest him at all. But then Rose said to him, "Look what I've found Jimmy." There was a toy shop next door to where Mum and the others were, so in they went. Jimmy found lots of cool stuff he'd really like Santa to bring and couldn't wait until he could tell him all about it. Outside the toy shop he saw a big poster telling him to follow the reindeer tracks and they would take him down to Santa's cave


"Let's go and see if Santa is here," he said to Gran. So they all followed the reindeer tracks, over to the escalator and down two more floors to the basement. They followed the tracks right down to the other end of the basement and there in front of them was Santa's cave - in total darkness. Santa had gone out for lunch. Jimmy was so disappointed it was all he could do not to cry. He had been so looking forward to seeing Santa all day, the only reason he was putting up with all these girls, and he wasn't there. "Never mind," said Aunty Jay "lets go and get pizza for lunch, maybe he'll come back before we leave."

After lunch Jimmy wasn't feeling too good. He was too tired to go to any more shops, he just wanted to sit down somewhere and wait for everyone to finish shopping. He and Gran found a seat not too far away from the escalators and sat down to wait. "Look Jimmy, who's that?" said Gran. "I don't know and I don't care," said Jimmy. "No, look Jimmy, up on the escalator, up there," said Gran excitedly, pointing. Reluctantly Jimmy looked up and who do you think he saw? Santa! Santa was on the escalator, with all the other people. He was dressed all in red with shiny black boots and a white satin sack tied with a gold rope was thrown over his shoulder. He had a little gold tinkly bell in his hand and every now and then he shook it. Jimmy couldn't believe his eyes, Santa must have been looking around the shops, otherwise why would he have his sack with him. And he was coming down the escalator, all the food places were downstairs, so he hadn't been having his lunch. As he walked past Jimmy, Santa gave him a big smile and a wink - and made Jimmy's day. He couldn't wait for the others to come back so he could tell them all about it. It was even better than going into the cave to see him, although he got to do that before they went home as well. 


Happy Advent Season,     

All names have been changed in this 
story to protect the identity of teenagers 
who are easily embarrassed.  ;)

Linking with Natasha at her:
 Say G'day party

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

It surely is the silly season

This is a lazy post really. I was playing with some of the editing effects on one of the computer programmes and thinking about Christmas so decided to post one or two of the photos. Or four or five of them. 

home nativity

I seem to be very busy at the moment trying to get ready for Christmas, which is coming all too quickly, but I'm sure I'll be ready on time.
Hand crafted nativity set
Tonight I've been back to my old work place, the rest home, to watch my youngest grandson take part in putting on a few Christmas items with his scout troop. He was surprised to see me but also pleased when they were told to go and talk to some of the residents. He made a beeline for me, haha, so I took him in hand and went with him while he spoke with a couple of the old ladies. He's 8 and found it just a little daunting I think.

Christmas tree in hotel foyer

I've also been helping make props for our church Christmas outreach, Wednesday mornings spent painting and cutting and fitting and everything else that goes with putting displays together. A lot of fun really with people just turning up randomly to help. I have some sheep at home now waiting to be cut out and have legs attached, the Sunday School kids drew and painted them. Cute.

Santa in the city

This week my daughter and I spent the morning in town, mostly window shopping while we waited for my GKB who was at an appointment. We found some shops we never knew about and had a good old time poking around - and I got some great ideas for Christmas presents. My mind had been blank up till then. When we had finished we had to have coffee of course. I love going into town with my girls, I always enjoy it.

Missy climbing the Christmas tree

I'm looking at my diary, *retired and needing a diary*, and next week is filling up fast. But I love Christmas so I don't mind really

It surely is the silly season. 

All of the photo's have been cropped and sharpened apart from the top one and the bottom one. The one at the top has been localised. Photos all taken using a Canon PowerShot A540.