Tag Archives: Christmas

We Meet Again Tour – 29 December 2017, #1

After the traveling between New York, Louisville, Ann Arbor, Solon, Ann Arbor, and Detroit, Tricia and I returned to New York.

It was cold. Cold. We hung out at the Shire and watched tv and movies and ordered food in.

Except for 29 December. We bundled up and braved the cold to see a play. And we allowed some time to check out some of the city lights. Saks Fifth Avenue put on a pretty fair show.

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Filed under Family, New York, Photo

A smile

They came in and sat at the table beside me in the restaurant. A big man, bigger than me and a child, probably 6 or 8 years old, his grandson. I had never seen them before. I doubt I will see them again.

spritzTheir conversation turned to cookies and specifically to cookies made during the holiday season.

The man explained how the child’s grandmother made cookies for Christmas using a cookie press. He described the process of creating the dough, adding food color, putting dough in the press, and squeezing it.

As I listened, the years fell away and the miles disappeared, and I stood once more in the kitchen of a house where I was raised. I could feel the warmth of the oven and smell the sugar and butter in the air.

I watched as my mother carefully pressed out cookie after cookie, changing the dough and changing the tip. The trays went into the oven. And the cookies came out and were placed on towels where some were decorated with sugar or rainbow sprinkles. The taste played anew on my tongue.

When I headed into the night, I said to the man, “My mother made those too. Thank you for the memory.”

And I smiled.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Family, Food

Favorite Christmas songs

Lion and lamb

Each year, there are three songs I make a point of hearing several times during the Advent and Christmas season. While they may not appear on the list of classical Christmas carols or music, they speak of the hope and possibility and peace of the season.

Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon

The Rebel Jesus by Jackson Browne

Like the First Time It’s Christmas Time by Tommy Sands

What makes your list?

See you along the Trail.

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Prayer for Christmas

God of life and God of hope,
we give you thanks and praise this night
as we gather to remember the birth of Jesus
who came as a witness to grace,
who proclaimed peace
did justice
lived love
and walked humbly with you.

In his name, we pray for peace and healing
wherever your world is broken,
wherever violence and injustice reign
wherever your children are in pain.
We ask that we might follow Jesus faithfully
and so become answers to our prayers
for peace on earth,
goodwill for all people,
and wholeness and wellbeing for all creation.
Amen.

Originally written 2009

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Advent starts at 12:01 AM (EST in the U.S.A.)

Lion and lambAdvent begins on Sunday, a time of preparation and waiting. In conversations with my son about a discipline we plan to practice together, we decided to make 12:01 AM (EST in the U.S.A.) our starting moment. That may not be liturgically sound. But it is what we choose.

What is sound, and more than sound, as a way to enter the Advent season is to read Advent/Darkness, a post by Christina Cleveland. Here are a couple of excerpts to encourage you to read her whole post:

… Advent isn’t about our best world, it’s about our worst world. …

… But we do the Light a disservice when we underestimate the darkness. Jesus entered a world plagued not only by the darkness of individual pain and sin, but also by the darkness of systemic oppression. Jesus’ people, the Hebrews, were a subjugated people living as exiles in their own land; among other things, they were silenced, targets of police brutality, and exploitatively taxed. …

… Advent is an invitation to plunge into the deep, dark waters of our worst world, knowing that when we re-surface for air we will encounter the hopeful, hovering Spirit of God …

Read Advent/Darkness, re-read, ponder, and pray.

I wish you a holy Advent and a blessed Christmas.

See you along the Trail.

 

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Fed – 12 June 2014

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30 November 2012
Staff Pre-Christmas Party
Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations
Caritas Internationalis
Manhattan, New York

 

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Purple flowers, Central Park 12

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Knowing my deep appreciation for Central Park,
Tricia gave me the Christmas present of
tulips planted in the park in my name.
Today I found one.
A purple one.

17 May 2014
Central Park
Manhattan, New York

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