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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Happy New Year!

We have had another lovely St. Nicholas celebration. It was good to be able to learn from an elder brother in the faith. We had been talking about marriage with the children, that they should intentionally be preparing for either marriage or celibacy, with a default of marriage, and how the most important thing to look for in a spouse is character, that having Godly mentors helping one discern this is wise, and that the most important thing to think about is what gifts one has to offer a spouse and not how that person can meet one's own needs. St. Nicholas' life was quite illustrative of that. He loved because God loved, he gave to people who could not give back, and tried to do it as secretly as possible. Last night, we told the children about the bishop of Myra and his life and works and laid our stockings out for him to fill. We awoke to plenty of good things. St. Nicholas even put some real maple candies in Rich's stocking, which we haven't been able to find for some time (all the other candies weren't all maple sugar).

I still remember being so disgusted at a book about St. Nicholas in the Protestant bookstore in town. At first, I was excited to see that they were talking about him at all, but then when I read through it and saw that they called him a pastor or some other such thing, rather than a bishop (because that would, gasp!, admit that the church was governed by bishops, and we can't have that), made up some other things to make him more Protestant, and completely ignored many other facts about his life. Basically, a fairy tale was written, which is fine, but it was presented as the truth about this real man from history. A story about Santa Claus would have been just as accurate. The only comfort I had was that someone might start to research him after reading that book, though I have few hopes of it.

I have knit nothing for St. Nicholas, nothing for Christmas, and nothing much lately at all. When I do any crafty things at all, it has been a little sewing. Mostly because I have so little time to do these things, and sewing is finished so much more quickly, which allows me to feel like I've done something. I have so many things I want to knit, want to finish and design, but I do not know how I will fit it in to our other activities.

We're going a little lighter on schooling this month. What with Advent, and our wanting the children to learn about that, we are focusing on the religious season. It is the new year of the church, and we do not wish them to be caught up in the commercial hype and junk that surrounds them in the greater culture. Thomas Howard wrote a great Advent Meditation that we read. It had a reference to an Egyptian pharoah, which was kind of nice, since we are almost to the point of studying the new kingdom. I hope you will find it edifying and thought provoking as well.

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