Sunday, 3 December 2017

Spreading Christmas Cheer


I read a cute little story the other day about some teenage lads who were standing on the corner opposite a church one Sunday evening in December.

One was overheard saying . . . "I don' t know who this Carol Service is, but she certainly packs them in!"

One of the things I love most about Christmas is the Christmas Carols. I can remember when I was growing up the newspaper used to print a Christmas Carol Book every year that had all the words and music to all the carols as a special insert.

There is something about a Christmas Carol that speaks to the heart in most of us. I have my favourites of course, but it would be very hard for me to pick just one as they all touch my heart in different ways.

 Starting today all of the hymns we sing throughout the month of December will be much beloved Christmas Carols, with the exception of the Sacrament hymn. Years ago, when I had first moved over here to Chestet, our church as a Ward used to go to the old people's home right across the road from where Todd and I were living, and where I worked, in the week before Christmas to sing carols to the residents there. My goodness how they loved it!! We would bring our hymn books from church and the pianist. The care workers would make sure that the piano was in the dining room that night and of course all the residents would be wheeled in. We'd sing with, and for them for about an hour and then afterwards we'd share mince pies, cups of tea and most importantly conversations with them all. It was a wonderful evening. I don't think there was a one of us that didn't enjoy participating in it. 

On another evening before Christmas the Relief Society did much the same at another old people's home. We'd sing them carols and then present them each with a small gift that we had made on a Relief Society evening in the weeks running up to the holidays. More important than the small gift or the singing was the time we spent afterwards fellowshipping with them all. It was always a wonderful evening. 

I think our Ward now sings Carols at Molde every year in the run up to Christmas as well as setting up a gift wrapping booth where we wrap gifts free of charge.  We have never gone to that as Todd doesn't like driving at night and it is a fair distance from where we live in the dark, especially when you are not sure of where you are going. 

 One year we took our Children's Sunday school class to a Residential care home to visit the residents and sing for them. We sang carols and did a little presentation for the residents and then presented them with a huge card that we had made as a class. The residents really enjoyed seeing the children and spending time with them, and the children learned an important lesson about serving others and Christmas love.  That was when Audrey Lee was our Sunday school president (Primary President), and I was one of her assistants. We will all miss her dearly this Christmas . . . 

One year a group of us just decided on our own to go and visit some of the shut in members of our Church Ward/Congregation and sing them a carol and deliver them a card one evening. Oh what fun we had doing that! We went in a group of cars and visited some half a dozen or so people that night. The best part was seeing the look of joy on the faces of the people we visited and of course being together and the love that was shared.  

When we lived down South, one night we took the Young Men and the Young Women of our church Ward on a service evening. We were delivering the Gingerbread Houses the young women had made the week before to each of the Auxiliary heads in our Ward that have young children in their home. We also sang a carol to them as we presented our gift of thanks for all that they do for our congregation throughout the year. Oh what fun we had!!! We laughed so much! Of course we got lost several times during the evening!!! The boys were in one car with their leader, and we girls in another. We were linking with each other via cell phones, and I have to say, the lack of direction coming from the boys to us was hilarious! They were totally rubbish at giving directions full stop!! In cars smelling of gingerbread and candy, and ringing with Christmas Cheer, getting lost was no hardship though. It added to the wonderful feelings that were present. More important than that, was the lesson we taught the youth in doing service to others with a cheerful heart. 

 Christmas Carols . . . simple songs with a simple message that speaks to the heart of all mankind. They herald in the beginning of the greatest love story ever told. God loves us. He sent His Son, so that we might find the way to return to Him and live once more in His presence. I am ever grateful . . . 

Well, I finished my comission yesterday of the grandchildren.  I can show you because the woman it is going to will never be on here to see it.  This was the most characters I had ever done in one painting and it was challenging to do, but I think it turned out pretty good and I managed to get the character of each child into it. Whew!  The gentleman I was doing it for is very happy with it as well.  Always a bonus!

And with that I will leave you with a thought for the day! 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

The best way to spread Christmas Cheer,
is singing loud for all to hear.
~Buddy the Elf   •。★★ 。* 。 


BOOK OF MORMON CORNER - Today's Reading - 2 Nephi 5:26-6:7
Question -What have you learnt from the reading today? How can you live after the manner of happiness?   
My thoughts -The manner of happiness for me is a peaceful, content feeling which brings me joy. Some times I have it and some times I don't feel it. For me it depends a lot on if I am looking to the Lord or if I have turned into myself. When I start the day praying and reading the scriptures I definitely feel more peaceful, regardless of what goes on that day. Also I am a thinker, and my thoughts can get quite busy.  Recently in Relief Society we watched a talk that counseled us about changing thoughts or worries into prayers, so it means that we are praying always in our hearts. I am pretty sure the manner of happiness comes when my will is aligned with my Heavenly Father's will, and I am doing what He would have me do. 
 In verse 4, Jacob says something that really jumped out at me. 'I speak unto you for your sakes, that ye may learn and glorify the name of your God'. It made me think . . . is this my purpose when I speak to others?? Are my words helping others to learn and know their God better and personally? Am I in tune with the spirit? Is charity at the centre of my words and teachings? Or is it better to step back and  stay quiet right now? Good questions to ask myself!
Our words are powerful. Elder Holland said 'Like all gifts “which cometh from above,” words are “sacred, and must be spoken with care, and by constraint of the Spirit.” Our words, like our deeds, should be filled with faith and hope and charity.'
Tomorrow's Reading (Day 45) - 2 Nephi 6:8-7:11 
Question - What have you learnt from the reading today? How do the people of the Lord wait for Him? 


In The English Kitchen today, for gifting or indulging . . .  Foolproof Chocolate Fudge.  I did it into a wreath shape and I show you how.  This is the simplest fudge to make ever invented and it is truly NO fail!

Enjoy your Sunday, this first one of the last month of the year. (How did that happen!)  Don't forget along the length of your day . . . 

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═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════

and I do too! 



  1. Hi Marie, I love carols too! I used to sing my daughter to sleep every night with Away in a Manger, even in the summer!! Your portrait is absolutely beautiful, I'm sure they'll be delighted with it. You're so talented!

    Yaay! Wedding dress found, it's gorgeous! I'll send you a photo. Jen was beginning to get really stressed out over it so she's over the moon now. Nothing beats a happy child!

    We're off to Betwy-s-Coed today, staying over and going to Llandudno tomorrow. Just Christmas mooching!!

    Have a lovely Sunday, lot's of love xxx

  2. Wow! You are a great artist Marie! I was never good at drawing or carrying a tune! The people who heard me would be running away! Lol.

    I can't comment on your other blog so I will here.

    I make this fudge for the holidays every year or when I have a craving for it! I don't wait for the holidays to eat this anymore bc life is to short.

    I put alot more nuts in mine though. Sometimes I make it with half nuts and the other half with out to keep everyone happy. Then I put maraschino cherries on it. They're easier to find and alot cheaper too.
    Now my mouth is watering so when I wake up I'm going to make some!

  3. When reading of the commission you did, I had a thought. Knowing how you would love to have family all together, would it be possible to do a painting of them all together by using the photos that you have of them and combine them into one painting. Just a thought... I do love Christmas carols and have had Christmas music playing here since our Thanksgiving. Right now Mary Did You Know is playing...such a beautiful song.
    Thanks for the cheering thoughts today. I hope it's a CHEER filled day for you !

  4. Marie you are on a creative roll my dear..the art:)♥ She will be thrilled..


  5. Hi Marie~

    What a fun post, nothing like singing Christmas Carols, it just makes your heart happy. The old pictures are so cute, don't you just love those old prints?!

    My mother loves it when people come to her care center to sing at Christmastime, they really need all the love and happiness they can get, especially at this time of year. I had to giggle when I read about the Young Women and Young Men, I could just picture it so will never forget them, and they will never forget you, what a fun memory!

    Your painting of the children is so cute! I'm sure they will be over the moon with it, it's just so precious! You are very talented, Marie!

    Living with happiness is a hard task sometimes, I too feel like it means being peaceful and content, but I don't always feel peaceful and content, so many things to distract me and take me away from that feeling. I like the idea of turning worries into prayers...what a wonderful way to get back in tune with the Spirit. Beautiful thoughts today.

    I love fudge, but I can never make it turn out right. I'm trying your recipe for sure, it looks delicious!

    I hope you had a very peaceful Sabbath.

    Hugs and Love,

  6. You know what I think of your artistic ability so need I say that the painting of ALL these children is fantastic, no wonder at all that the person who asked for it was delighted.....I think everybody enjoys the Advent hymns at church or even hearing them on the street corners..Advent is such a lovely think in just over three weeks we will wake up and it will be truly much to do, must make a start. Thought I would get a start on cards today, but visitors soon put paid to that idea...maybe tomorrow, yes tomorrow it will be..
    Night night for now take care hope you get a good nights sleep. Xxxx

  7. I always loved the hymn Away in a Manger when I was a child Kate and still do, in all of its forms and melodies. My own children loved it also. Thanks so much for your kind words. I saw your daughters dress, thanks so much for sharing. Absolutely beautiful. Have a lovely time in Betwy-s-Coed and Llandudno, two of my favourite places! Love and hugs! xoxo

    Thanks so much Jan! You are such a dear. I love fudge with lots of nuts. When I was younger I used to make Divinity and all sorts, but with just the two of us now, there is not more call for much candy. Todd can't eat anything too hard and I shouldn't be eating any at all! love and hugs. xoxo

    That is a wonderful thought Pam, and I think I may do something like that for them all next Christmas! I love the song Mary did You Know. It is one of my favourites! I especially love the way Kathy Matthea sings it! A cheer filled day to you too! xoxo

    Thanks Monique! You are such a dear friend. I hope she is thrilled! xoxo

    O, I do love the old prints Barb. I am a real lover of anything old fashioned and vintage! I am sure my mom would be thrilled if anyone from her old church came and sang some songs for her. I am not sure that many people do this type of thing these days. Thanks so much for your kind words re my painting. You do need to try the fudge, it truly is NO fail! Hugs and blessings. xoxo

    Thanks Sybil. you are my biggest fan! I have not got started on my Christmas cards yet either! I think each day I am going to do them, and then . . . something happens and I don't! Love and hugs. xoxo


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