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DECEMBER 2004
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From the Editor -
Dian Moore
'Tis the Season
Featured Article
‘Tis the Season to Celebrate with New Traditions
By Dian Moore

FaithWriters 500 member, Lisa Bumgarner, asked her fellow writers for new ways to celebrate Christmas. The answers she received were fresh, unusual and meaningful. Consider some of these ways to celebrate the Christmas Season.

A Family Christmas Celebration …

Before buying presents, have all agree that since Christmas is the celebration of Jesus' birth (His incarnation), then it is His birthday party! Money set aside for buying several large gifts for each child is redirected through the child, making him or her a representative of Christ. They purchase gifts for Jesus, which are then given to an organization like Samaritan's Purse, Angel Tree, children in shelters for abused wives and children, a children's home, and other needy places.

On Christmas Eve, have the senior Christian male read the portion of the Christmas Story from the Bible, ending with there being no room at the inn. Sing some Christmas Carols and serve hot apple cider, cookies and fruitcake.

Start Christmas Day with Brunch. All adult members bring a dish as a gift to the hosting house.

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Christmas Snapshot
By Dennis Van Scoy, Sr.

Christmas is a joyous time, enhanced by scents of pine and hollyhock, alive with vibrant children's laughter, and garnished in endearments of tradition. It is the pinnacle of fond remembrances, tender sharing and gracious giving ... the treasure of family sprung from the depths of the heart.

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Whose Birthday is it Anyway?
By Sandra Fischer

Colored paper, boxes, and ribbon covered the living room landscape, evidence that our family had once again lived up to the cultural expectations of a Christmas exchange. Since vacation started the next morning, we needed to clear the area of debris, dismantle the tree and pack away the decorations for another year.

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December 25th AKA Jesus’ birthday
By Marina Rojas

When I was growing up, my family would not have claimed to cling to any religious notions. There was a big white Bible that sat on our coffee table, but we weren’t allowed to touch it; it was for show.

If someone mentioned church, my father would bristle and tell us kids we didn’t have any business going to church until we were old enough to really know what we wanted. When pressed, my mother would clean us up, put on our best clothes, and shove my brother and me off onto the local Baptist church with a dollar for offering in our fists.

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Chrismon Trees  
By Annette Agnello  

In the late 1950’s, Frances Kipps Spencer (1917-1990) of Ascension Lutheran Church in Danville, Virginia, set out to create decorations appropriate for a church Christmas tree. This marked the beginning of Chrismon Trees, which are used in many churches today.

"Chrismon" is an abbreviation for "Christ's Monogram."   

  In the beginning  "Christ's Monogram" was illustrated by the  Greek  symbol of Chi-Rho, which looks like a  capital "P "  with an  " X "  across it. From there the obvious next step were the symbols of the Alpha and Omega. The Chrismon tree soon included most Christian symbols.  

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