Over the last few posts I’ve been discussing the Festive Season and what is means to us. I asked some of my blogging friends to share their thoughts when I asked them: What does the Festive Season Mean to You? Family was the main theme with each of their answers and I’d love you to read the post and what each had to say.
My guest, today is Shirley Corder who I met through a blogging Facebook group. Shirley is a published author, who has survived cancer and lives in South Africa. We clicked immediately and she has been very supportive of Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond. You can read more about Shirley and connect with her via her details at the end of this post.
In answer to my question ‘What does the Festive Season Mean to You?’, Shirley writes about the Six Fs of Christmas. Find out what these are and enjoy reading how Shirley and her family celebrate this special time of year.
THE SIX Fs OF CHRISTMAS
Christmas 2017 is going to be different to any other we’ve celebrated. The last “family Christmas” we had was many years ago. Since then, we have added to our number two daughters-in-law and four grandchildren! (Hey, just doing our bit! God told Noah and family to go out and populate the world!)
Our families have spread across the globe, and each family unit now does their own thing. However, this year we are all getting together! My eldest son recently bought a very beautiful home with many bedrooms, some four hours drive away. He has invited us to all join them for several days.
My daughter and son-in-law are coming from Monte Negro. My youngest son and daughter-in-law are coming from Johannesburg with our middle two grandchildren whom we haven’t seen for nearly four years. My eldest grandchild will drive over from a town not far from our destination, and we will travel from Port Elizabeth. This will be the first Christmas we’ll be together for over 20 years! Sadly, there will be one missing person. Our eldest grandson is stuck in America as he’s working towards his green card and can’t leave the country.
Although at times we have resorted to a “cold meat and salad” meal, as a family we love our traditional Christmas Dinner of roast chicken (in lieu of turkey which isn’t a family favourite), gammon, crispy potatoes, several veggies. Pudding (Sweets) consists of steamed fruit pudding and custard and delicious trifle for those deprived souls who don’t like fruit pudding.
We decorate the lounge (sitting room) and the dining table. When we sit down for the Christmas meal, we wear silly paper hats, pull crackers, read out the jokes, and generally have a great time around the table.
(Okay, so if it wasn’t free, it wouldn’t be a gift! But I needed another F!) For weeks or months before we wrack our brains. What can we give to Samantha, whom we haven’t seen for nearly four years? What would our daughters-in-law like that won’t break the bank? Where will we find that special something for each person? I make greeting cards for each person and fun gift tags to go on the prezzies. As people arrive for the meal (and in this case for several days!) they’ll put their presents at the foot of a large decorated Christmas tree and try to prevent the little ones from taking a peak.
At some time over the festive period, my husband and I always sit together and reminisce over Christmas celebrations of the past. My husband was a full-time minister (pastor) and so our Christmas holds many memories: funny, difficult, heart-warming, and chaotic to name a few. A special highlight we always remember is the nativity play that “bombed” thanks to a little cherub of three who became stage struck. The three-year-old girl angel sitting obediently next to him became annoyed and tried to wrestle him to the floor. He lashed at her and a fist-fight ensued. This prompted a quick casting down to earth of the two warring angels (totally Biblical) to our horror and accompanied by hysteria from the watching congregation.
The integral part of the celebrations is always remembering that little baby who was born over 2,000 years ago and laid in a manger because there was no room for him in the local inn. Churches usually put on nativity plays and carol services as near to Christmas as they can. As a family, we all go to Church in the morning, whether together or far apart, to give thanks to Jesus Christ for coming as our Saviour. This year we will all go together: 9 adults and 5 kiddies. What an amazing Christmas this promises to be.
Shirley Corder is a retired registered nurse, pastor’s wife, cancer survivor, and author. She lives near the sea in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, with her husband Rob. Published internationally, Shirley is the author of “Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer” (Revell/Baker 2012) and is contributing author to eleven other books to date. She is currently producing a series of eBooks on women in the Bible who are seen under the shadow of another person or location. She plans to convert these to print in the coming year.
Connect with Shirley
MAIN WEBSITE: https://www.shirleycorder.com
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://amzn.to/2jxhAv2
Let’s Keep Sizzling!