This is the last Hodgepodge for 2012. The blogger community has designated today as a day to be silent in memory of those taken at Sandy Hook Elementary, and to pray for all those suffering. So, I suppose I really should not post this today - but the "sounds of silence" are the sounds of breaking hearts, of missing the children's laughter, of the years ahead of stolen beautiful moments.
Amid the aftermath of this tragedy we need words of comfort, prayers both silent and in unision, and scripture readings assuring of hope beyond the sins of this world. We need to speak out on gun control while our leaders are feeling the pain, and we need to stop the silence when a community ignores the needs of the mentally ill.
We can NOT stay silent!
So, I go on with the Hodgepodge as I prepare for Christmas, the celebration of the baby Jesus, the one who came to earth to forgive our sins, and to show us the way to everlasting life.
1. How will you spend 'the night before Christmas'?
Christmas Eve is a beautiful time for me. It's time with family, and its when we attend our beautiful candlelight church service together. We sing the Christmas hymns and hear the familiar reading from Luke. The music is "tingling" and not just because I play in the handbells. ha. I love to sing "Silent Night" by candlelight, and then "Joy to the World"! After the service, we come home and sit and enjoy the Christmas tree lights, have a bit of liquid "Christmas Cheer" and open one present - which is always a new pair of pajamas to wear that night.
2. What is one thing you are not?
I am not super-woman. To quote an old Helen Reddy song, you will not hear me roar! I learned long ago I can't do everything, and I certainly can not do everything well. So, I do what I can...with my heart in the right place.
3. Fudge - are you a fan? Your favorite flavor?
Of course I'm a fan! Who wouldn't like all that sweetness? My favorite flavor is chocolate. I don't eat it often because it's so loaded with calories that I feel guilty. Fudge pieces are small, but they make a person bigger. Not fair.
4. Did you attend any craft/vendor fairs in the month of December? Do you prefer homemade goodies or the more professional stalls?
I have not attended any fairs this month but I do enjoy them. I do not buy many homemade items, but I very much appreciate when family & friends make homemade gifts for me. I live in an area with many artisans and art galleries, craft stores, etc. So year round I have the opportunity to go in them and shop.
5. What's your favorite type of holiday gathering?
A relaxed one...with lots of laughter and love!
6. We're approaching a new year...what's going to be different in 2013?
An interesting question. First, is anybody else thinking about how we are going into '13? I'm not a superstitous person but I do wonder if others are "fearing" what may come this year. What will be different? Day to day not much. But I am optimistic that our country will improve economically, and that our leaders will make some good decisions. Yes, I'm still optimistic! I hope to see positive changes in gun control, in health care, and in the needs for the poor in body and spirit.
7. Share a favorite scripture, quote, saying, or song lyric relating to peace.
I have this on my Facebook page: "Make me an instrument of thy peace." - St. Francis of Assisi. I also love the song "Let their be peace on earth and let it begin with me." I went to a school program when my girls were little and the children sang this song - and it brought tears to my eyes. It was so beautiful to hear from those innocent, little voices. So hopeful - so without prejudice. Of course thinking of that moment now in light of the Sandy Hook tragedy is so sad too.
8. My random thought.
I hope everyone can LISTEN to the sounds this Christmas - to the TRUE story of Christ's arrival on earth, to all the beautiful music, to the laughter with family and friends. It's really NOT a time to stay silent - but instead to rejoice and be thankful!
Be safe - and I'll see all my hodgepodge friends in 2013! Merry Christmas!