Posts Tagged ‘Opinions’

I’ve done a few Word Associations with you over the last few months, and today, as the title of this post suggests, this word association is all about New Year and what it means to each of us. So as usual I’m going to throw some words at you  and I want you to note down the first word that comes into your mind when you read each word.

So here goes…

  1. Hogmanay
  2. Resolutions
  3. TV
  4. Food
  5. New Year’s Eve party
  6. Midnight
  7. New start
  8. Holidays
  9. First-footing
  10. Shortbread

So how did you get on with those words? Did you find it easy? Did your answers surprise you or were they just as you expected?

Well here’s my responses to my questions:

  1. Celebration
  2. Failure
  3. Rotten
  4. Over-eating
  5. Edinburgh
  6. The bells
  7. Decisions
  8. Over
  9. The bells
  10. Present

Were any of your answers the same as mine? Did any of my answers confuse you? Did any of your own answers confuse you?

I’ve said in previous word association posts that I find I get a bit stressed when I’m doing them as I put a lot of pressure on myself not to over think my answers! Are you relaxed when you do them or do you find it stressful too?

I still believe that when we respond with the first words that come into our minds, our answers tell us a lot about our emotional state, and what’s important to us at that particular point in time.

Bearing all this in mind, review your answers, does my theory hold true?

I chose some words we probably all associate with New Year as well as some that I suspect if you’re not Scottish, you won’t understand (including some of my answers), maybe it’s time to find out a bit more about our Scottish New Year traditions!

These last few weeks I’ve found myself thinking a lot about those who wouldn’t be celebrating Christmas by exchanging presents and spending time celebrating and eating lots of foodpoverty

  • What about those who couldn’t afford to buy any presents for their children?
  • What about those who didn’t have any food to eat on Christmas Day?
  • What about those who spent Christmas Day alone?
  • What about those that had no roof over their head on Christmas Day?

What about them?

You may think it’s nothing to do with you that at the end of 2013 there are still those who don’t have enough food to eat, clean water to drink, or even a roof over their head, but I’m sorry, it is the responsibility of all God’s children to look after one another, and that includes you, me, the beggar on the street with no home, the orphan in a far away land who has to walk for miles every day just to get some dirty water to drink.

So, at the end of 2013, I challenge myself and each of you, to do something in 2014 to try to end poverty and hunger in this world of God’s. Go on make a difference in 2014 for God!

I’ve done a few Word Associations with you over the last few months, and today, as the title of this blog post suggests I’m going to give you another one, but this time all about Christmas! So as usual I’m going to throw some words at you  and I want you to note down the first word that comes into your mind when you read each word.

So here goes…

1. Nativity

2. Christmas tree

3. Carol

4. Bethlehem

5. Santa Claus

6. Christmas day

7. Christmas message

8. Food

9. Reindeer

10. Holiday

So how did you get on with those words? Did you find it easy? Did your answers surprise you or were they just as you expected?

Well here’s my responses to my questions:

1. Jesus

2. Decorations

3. O Come All Ye Faithful

4. Stable

5. Presents!

6. Family

7. Jesus

8. Over-eating

9. Rudolph

10. No work!

Were any of your answers the same as mine? Did any of my answers confuse you? Did any of your own answers confuse you?

I’ve said in previous word association posts that I find I get a bit stressed when I’m doing them as I put a lot of pressure on myself not to over think my answers! Are you relaxed when you do them or do you find it stressful too?

I still believe that when we respond with the first words that come into our minds, our answers tell us a lot about our emotional state, and what’s important to us at that particular point in time.

Bearing all this in mind, review your answers, does my theory hold true?

I chose some words you’d always associate with Christmas but I hope they got you thinking a little more about what Christmas means to you. As you may have gathered from my answers, Christmas for me is all about Jesus, and celebrating his birth.

It’s two days to Christmas, and I’m sure we’re all trying frantically to make sure our homes are ready for Christmas and all the family who will descend on us. But have you stopped to think of those who have family members who won’t be home for Christmas this year, and how empty their home feels to them this Christmas:

  • Some may have family who are serving in the armed forces somewhere;
  • Some may live hundreds or even thousands of miles away from their families;
  • Some may have lost a loved one to illness or old age in this last year, so may be alone;
  • Some may simply have no family to share Christmas with.

So spare a thought this Christmas for those who may not be finding Christmas such a joyous occasion, as for them Christmas may just be reminding them of their loneliness.

For those of you awaiting the arrival of loved ones this Christmas, cherish them and enjoy your celebrations together, as you are fortunate to have family to share this special time with.

…A time for families

…A time for celebrations

…A time for giving

…A time for parties

…A time for Christ

I must admit to being disappointed by a number of conversations I’ve heard in these last couple of weeks – These conversations have all been about Christmas, but not about Christ-mas, but instead about all night partying, drinking to excess and then suffering from a hangover for a day or two afterwards.

I’m sorry if I sound like a party-pooper because honestly I like a good party as must as the next person, but come on, what is it about Christmas that make people think it means they have to drink to excess and become so f=drunk that they can’t remember much, if anything, about their night out, and feel really ill the next day…or two!

no christ no christmasAs well as this, I’ve also been disappointed by the number of people who, when talking about their Christmas, have focused on everything and anything apart from celebrating the birth of Jesus. Even when someone has mentioned about church or chapel, they’ve talked about it as if it’s a chore going to church and that they only go at Christmas out of duty, not because they want to celebrate the reason for the season.

The reason we celebrate Christmas is because of Jesus, so please, this Christmas don’t get too caught up in partying and presents that you forget that if it hadn’t been for Christ, we would not have CHRISTmas!

 

Did you used to celebrate the birth of Christ as Christmas time, but now you don’t?

Did you used to look forward to giving and receiving presents at Christmas time, but now you don’t?

Let’s get back to basics this Christmas, and feel Christmas like a child.

I want to feel Christmas, how it used to be
With all of it’s wonder falling on me
This season has felt so empty, oh for quite a while
I want to feel Christmas like a child

I want to see snowflakes fall to the ground
My brothers and sisters all gathered around
Singing “Away In A Manager” as we sit by the fire
I want to feel Christmas like a child

It’s been so long now, I can’t say
Just when I lost my way
But I’m going back to how it was
When this day meant everything
And we spent our time remembering 
The baby Child born for us

It’s all about Jesus, asleep in the straw
This infant, this King, this Savior for all

So I don’t need bells to be ringing
‘Cause I’ll join with angels singing
Gloria
And I can feel Christmas like a child
I want to feel Christmas like a child…

 

I guess you’ve probably noticed by now  that’s it’s nearly Christmas. The shops have been selling Christmas cards and wrapping paper for months and playing Christmas songs continually for weeks, so I think we’ve probably all got the message by now.

But have we actually “got” the true message of Christmas yet?

Christmas really about giving and receiving presents, eating too much food, and holidays from work/school (even although that’s nice!), it’s actually about Jesus, God‘s only son, and how over 2000 years ago he came to earth as a baby to live amongst us, as one of us.

This Christmas, please take time from all the hustles of Christmas, to remember just why we celebrate Christmas…because of CHRIST!

 

When I was very growing up, the whole family, including my gran, aunts, uncles and cousins, used to come to our house for dinner nearly every Christmas Day – There were a couple of years when we all went out to a local hotel or restaurant for dinner, but that was the exception rather than the rule.

christmas-family-dinner_tableOver the years the numbers gathering at Mum and Dad’s have dwindled significantly, as my cousins grew up and had their own families, and older members of the family passed away. For a number of years there was still four then five of us for Christmas dinner, as there was always Mum, Dad, Aunt Mae and me and then after I got married, Sandy joined us too. Although when Sandy’s Mum was still alive we usually had Christmas lunch with her and then joined with my Mum, Dad and Aunt Mae early evening. After Sandy’s Mum died, we, along with my Aunt Mae, we went to Mum and Dad’s for Christmas dinner.

Probably 3 or 4 years ago was when we first when back down to it being just 4 of us for dinner, as my Aunt Mae refused to come out her house to join us for Christmas dinner. As she’s now living in a local care home she’s obviously not able to have the option to join us.

Earlier this year, my Dad moved into a local nursing home as Mum was no longer able to care for him at home any more. That of course means we’ve been another person down this Christmas…so this year there was only three of us!

I know Mum has found this year particularly difficult as it’s the first year in over 55 years of marriage that Dad’s not been at home for Christmas. It’s sad how life moves on and people who are a huge part of our lives are no longer part of it. However it wouldn’t be life if the people we know and the circumstances we find ourselves in remained unchanged for long.

So however many of you there was for Christmas Day this year, I pray that while there may have been empty spaces at your table where once loved ones sat, you are happy in the knowledge that they are in heaven with God now, whole and pain-free.

Never forget those who are no longer alive, but have had an impact on your life, whether it was just for a brief moment or for many years, because they will still be watching over you, and will know they are on your mind.

I don’t know about you, but over the last couple of weeks, particularly the week leading up to Christmas, the shops were mobbed but everyone seemed happy to speak to the person next to them in the queues, even although they’d never seen that person before, and probably likely to never see them again.

Funny that, because every other week of the year you go shopping, no-one is interested in speaking to you unless it’s to give abuse or complain about something. Isn’t it funny how the spirit of Christmas seems to make everyone nicer to each other.

Wouldn’t it be good if that Christmas spirit of friendliness towards others could remain all year round, not just for the few days of Christmas.

Christmas is synonymous with giving and receiving Christmas presents, but should we be giving God a gift this Christmas as a huge thank you for everything Christmas means to us…not just on Christmas Day but all year round?

Yes we should!

So what’s the best gift we can give God this Christmas?

For those who have not already given their life to God, the answer to this question is…your life, your all!

For those who are Christians, I’d urge you to give God a very personal gift that only you and Him need to know about, and let it be a sacrifice. David said in 2 Samuel 24 that he would not offer a sacrifice to God that cost him nothing. Maybe your gift to God will be to forgive someone you’ve needed to forgive for a long time, maybe it’s to accept God’s calling for you…whatever the gift you give God this Christmas, He will receive it with open arms, just as He receives and accepts each one of us with open arms.

Make your gift for Him special this year!