. . . Rhinehold Niebuhr
Happy New Year!
. . . Rhinehold Niebuhr
Happy New Year!
This little piece of history is copied from Saint of the Day website.
What better way to prepare for the arrival of the Christ Child than to take a brief journey to Greccio, the spot in central Italy where St. Francis of Assisi created the first Christmas crib in the year 1223.Francis, recalling a visit he had made years before to Bethlehem, resolved to create the manger he had seen there. The ideal spot was a cave in nearby Greccio. He would find a baby (we’re not sure if it was a live infant or the carved image of a baby), hay upon which to lay him, an ox and an ass to stand beside the manger. Word went out to the people of the town. At the appointed time they arrived carrying torches and candles.
One of the friars began celebrating Mass. Francis himself gave the sermon. His biographer, Thomas of Celano, recalls that Francis “stood before the manger…overcome with love and filled with a wonderful happiness…” For Francis, the simple celebration was meant to recall the hardships Jesus suffered even as an infant, a savior who chose to become poor for our sake, a truly human Jesus.
Tonight, as we pray around the Christmas cribs in our homes, we welcome into our hearts that same Savior.
Which is my favorite tree this year? Once you see what I am talking about you will understand why I selected the one I did. Every year for the past ten years I have taken my grandchildren to see the big trees in Chicago. The first one is always the Marshall Field’s (Macy’s) tree in the Walnut Room. We ooh and ahh about the beauty of the thing, have breakfast, take pictures, tour the store, and then view the windows on State Street.
I thought the last two Macy’s trees were outstanding, one done by Martha Stewart, and the other by Tommy Hilfigger. This year, the Macy’s designers did the tree themselves. In my opinion, Martha and Tommy should hang it up. Macy’s outdid themselves with a stunning design that makes previous year’s pale in comparison.
Macy’s theme ornamented the tree with four words, “Dream, Imagine, Believe, Wish.”
A short walk west, and we arrived at the Daley Plaza to visit the Kris Kindle Market and the Chicago Christmas tree.
It drizzled the whole time, but our Christmas spirit was not dampened. Usually, the Chicago tree is a huge live-artificial tree. It is constructed on site by inserting dozens of cut trees into steel tubes on the steel stem. When it is completed it is outstanding. This year, the Mayor insisted on a cut tree. It is a fifty five foot tall spruce, cut from a yard within the city. Are you missing a tree? If so, you can view it in the Daley Plaza. It is adorned with red, white, and green LED lights. The Santa House is still there, but the G-scale train layout gave way to more market space.
The market which is a German tradition and filled with vendors from Germany has given way to new vendors from South America. Somehow, the market just wasn’t the same.
My grand daughters love to chase the pigeons from the eternal flame, but this year, they were mysteriously missing. What? No pigeons in downtown Chicago? Whose idea was that?
Our next journey was a short walk to Michigan Avenue to pay respect to the “Bean.” It’s real title is Cloud Scape, but no one calls it that. Because of the clouds, and the drizzle the reflections were surreal.
We parked under the Bean, and retrieved the car with a mere twenty-six dollar parking fee. I think the Mayor taught the president everything he knows about how to steal from tax payers. I digress.
The slushy ride home brought me to the next cheery Christmas tree, the one decorated by Peggy. Next to Macy’s I like it best, but it is still not the winner of my “Best Christmas Tree” contest.
The winner is the one created by my beautiful little grandaughter Jenna Rose. She crafted a card with love and addressed it directly to me. She knows me all too well; here it is. . .
Filed under: Birds, family, Memories, Travel, Warm and Fuzzy | Tagged: bean, believe, Chicago, Christmas Tree, cloud scape, Daley Plaza, dream, Eternal Flame, G-Scale Train, grandchildren, Imagine, Kris Kindle Market, Macy's, Martha Stewart, Michigan Avenue, Millenium Park, Pigeon, Santa, Spruce Tree, State Street, Tommy Hilfigger, Walnut Room, Wish | 1 Comment »
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Angel, Baby Jesus, Birthday Party, Cardinal, Chickadee, Child Jesus, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, Christmas Tree, Creche, Decorate, farm, Farmer, Guardian Angel, Heaven, Hyper-Drive, Jesus, Nativity, NativityScene, Religion and Spirituality, Silent Night, Spruce Tree, Tinsel | Comments Off on The Gift (A serial, part 7)
To be continued. . . .
Filed under: Birds, Cartoons, Characters I knew, children's writers, family, Memories, religion, Warm and Fuzzy, Writer | Tagged: Angel, Calendar, Cardinal, Carols, Chickadee, Christianity, Christmas, Christmas carol, Christmas Tree, Decorate, Guardian Angel, Holidays, Jesus, Religion and Spirituality, Silent Night, Sparrow, Star | Comments Off on The Gift (A serial, part six)
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