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With just a few days until Christmas
our family would like to wish you and yours a
very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and to remember the reason we
celebrate Christmas.

I found the following poem and want to share it with you and your family

        The Reason for Christmas 

                   Christmas season is a time of great joy; 
            But it's much more than Santa Claus, candy, and toys! 
                   Celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ, 
                For without His birth there'd be no eternal life. 

                   Not long ago in a little square in town, 
               The Nativity scene with Jesus could be found. 
                 Now in its place stands Santa and reindeer, 
               And laws stating "NO Nativity scene seen here." 

                 As a man stood by Santa, I saw him smile; 
            I said, "Excuse me, sir, could I talk with you a while?
                 Why have they taken the Christ child away, 
          For without the Christ there would be no Christmas Day." 

                 I was startled when I heard his cold reply, 
      He laughed,"Who needs Christ with gifts--with old friends stopping by?" 
         "You'll need Him one day, sir; seek Him before it's too late." 
             For in the Christ Child's hands lies our eternal fate." 

           As I said a hushed "goodbye" and sadly turned to leave, 
             I felt the stranger's hand gently tug upon my sleeve. 
                I turned around with joy as I heard him say, 
            "Will you lead me to this Christ Child of yours today?" 

             Joyfully we knelt where the manger scene had been, 
           And he asked our precious Lord to forgive him of his sin. 
                 With a glad tear in his eyes I heard him say, 
         "We'll replace this Santa scene with the Christ Child today!" 

              The true meaning of Christmas now can be seen, 
            As we look on the Christ Child in each Nativity scene. 
           Remember Christ the Saviour upon this Christmas Day! 
      Feed the hungry, share His love with those you meet along the way 

                                  Written by:Francis Armstrong

'Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house,
 Not a creature was praying, not one in the house.
 Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care,
 In hopes that Jesus would not come there.

 The children were dressing to crawl into bed,
 Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head.
 And Mom in her rocker with baby on her lap
 Was watching the Late Show while Dad took a nap.

 When out of the East there rose such a clatter,
 I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.
 Away to the window I flew like a flash
 Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!

 When what to my wondering eyes should appear
 But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.
 With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray,
 I knew in a moment this must the THE DAY!

 The light of His face made me cover my head
 It was Jesus! returning just like He had said.
 And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,
 I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.

 In the Book of Life which He held in His hand,
 Was written the name of every saved man.
 He spoke not a word as He searched for my name;
 When He said, "It's not here", my head hung in shame.

 The people whose names had been written with love,
 He gathered to take to His Father above.
 With those who were ready He rose without a sound
 While all the rest were left standing around.

 I fell to my knees, but it was too late;
 I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate.
 I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight;
 Oh, if only I had been ready tonight.

 In the words of this poem the meaning is clear;
 The coming of Jesus is drawing near.
 There's only one life and when comes the last call,
 We'll find that the Bible was true after all!!!

 
Recipes for Christmas
           Candied Cranberries

           1/2 cup sugar
           1/2 cup water
           1/2 cup cranberries

           Select firm, red cranberries and prick once or twice with a needle. Boil the sugar in the water until
           it spins a thread. Put in cranberries and cook gently until syrup jellies when tested from the tip of a  spoon. Remove berries one at a time and place on wax paper. Let stand until dry. Dip the berrie in granulated sugar.

           These are very decorative and can serve as an excellent garnish.

           Makes 20 - 25. 
Wassail Punch

             2 quarts. apple cider 
             2 cups orange juice 
             2 cups pineapple juice 
             1/2 cup lemon juice 
            1/2 cup sugar 
             12 whole cloves 
             4 cinnamon sticks (3 - 4
            inches) 

             Orange slices and additional cloves, optional 

             In a large kettle, bring the first seven ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat and
             simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove cinnamon and cloves. Serve warm.







 


Our pets enjoy Christmas too---so
I thought I would bring you some
thoughts from them.
Christmas Dog

Written by: Shel Silverstein

Tonight's my first night as a watchdog,
    And here it is Christmas Eve..
 The children are sleeping' all cozy upstairs,
While I'm guarding' the stockin's and tree..

 What's *that* now-footsteps on the rooftop?
  Could it be a cat or a mouse?
 Who's this down the chimney?
    A thief with a beard-
And a big sack for robbin' the house?

I'm barkin', I'm growlin', I'm bitin' his butt..
He howls and jumps back in his sleigh..
I scare his strange horses, 
they leap in the air..
I've frightened the whole bunch away..

   Now the house is all peaceful and quiet again,
The stockin's are safe as can be..
  Won't the kiddies be glad when they wake up tomorrow
     And see how I've guarded the tree.. 

Cats' Top Ten Favorite Christmas Songs 

Submitted by: Cookie Hungerbuhler 

               1. Up on the Mousetop

               2. Have Yourself a Furry 
                   Little Christmas

               3. Joy to the Curled

               4. I Saw Mommy Hiss at 
                   Santa Claus

               5. The First Meow

               6. Oh, Come All Ye Fishful

               7. Silent Mice

               8. Fluffy, the Snowman

               9. Jingle Balls

               10.  Wreck the Halls!


Short Stories and Humor


OFFICE HOLIDAY HUMOR

: All Employees 
  From: Management 
  Subject: Office conduct during the Christmas season 

  Effective immediately, employees should keep in mind the 
  following guidelines in compliance with FROLIC (the Federal 
  Revelry Office and Leisure Industry Council). 

  1. Running aluminum foil through the paper shredder to make 
  tinsel is discouraged. 
  2. Playing Jingle Bells on the push-button phone is forbidden 
  (it runs up an incredible long distance bill) 
  3. Work requests are not to be filed under "Bah humbug." 
  4. Company cars are not to be used to go over the river and 
  through the woods to Grandma's house. 
  5. All fruitcake is to be eaten BEFORE July 25. 
  6. Egg nog will NOT be dispensed in vending machines. 

  In spite of all this, the staff is encouraged to have a Happy Holiday.
 
 
 
 
 














 

 Airlines and Mistletoe

[from Kitty's Daily Mews] 

It was slightly before Thanksgiving. The trip went reasonably well, and he was ready to go back. The airport on the other end had turned a tacky red and green, and loudspeakers blared  annoying elevator renditions of cherished Christmas carols. 

Being someone who took Christmas very seriously, and being slightly tired, he was not in a particularly good mood. 

Going to check in his luggage (which, for some reason, had become one suitcase with entirely new clothes), he saw hanging mistletoe. Not real Mistletoe, but very cheap plastic with red paint on some of the rounder parts and green paint on some of the flatter and pointier parts, that could be taken for mistletoe only in a very Picasso sort of way. 

With a considerable degree of irritation and nowhere else to vent it, he said to the attendant, 

"Even if I were not married, I would not want to kiss you under such a ghastly mockery of mistletoe." 

"Sir, look more closely at where the mistletoe is." 

(pause)
"Ok, I see that it's above the luggage scale, which is the place you'd have to step forward for a kiss." 

"That's not why it's there." 

(pause)
"Ok, I give up. Why is it there?" 

"It's there so you can kiss your luggage goodbye."

Again, we wish all the very
best for the holidays and 
the New Year to come.

Gigi, Walter, Shui Woo, Zachett (Zaza)
Tadpole, Gabby, Smokey and Mannix