Christmas Decorating Fun v.4

Last week we shared a post called Christmas Decorating Fun where we invited you all to share your favorite Christmas stuff with us:

“Send us a picture of your Christmas tree, your nativity scene, your favorite decoration, your Christmas spirit – let us see how you are sharing the life, love, and joy of Jesus Christ with others in this season and we’ll share it on Facebook and right here – send your pictures to”

We’ve received a few pictures and we’ll be sharing them over the next few days as we get ready for Christmas morning and here is our fourth installment of Christmas Decorating Fun courtesy of Bill Friedgen!

Christmas is a big part of my life. As I am in the choir, I guess that you know that I enjoy singing.  I sing and listen to Christmas music most of the year – yes, even in the middle of the summer while cutting my grass.  The only time I take a hiatus is during the time after Halloween and Thanksgiving, as I try to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday during this time.  Of course, with all of that said, I try to have us put our decorations up the weekend after Thanksgiving, and the do not go away until the weekend after the Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival, with the exception of the walkway tree lights which I keep up until after what the last snow of the New Year, as they help us to find the path when shoveling.

I have chosen two pictures that really mean something to me.  When I was young, we would setup a live Christmas tree as a family.  I would help my dad bring it into the house after cutting the stump, get it into the stand, and then crawl under the tree to tighten it, while my mom and sisters told my dad which way to hold it so it was straight.  Then my dad and I would put on the lights, always starting with the C7 bulbs followed by the mini lights.  My mom and sisters would then put on the tinsel garland.  Once that was done everyone would put on ornaments.  As each of us children received special ornaments, we had our own box of ornaments that only we were allowed to place on the tree.  My mom never felt the tree was complete until she put on the two final bells that had come over from Germany.  I have done a similar tradition at our house – sans the live tree, and Eva has a box of her own ornaments.
The other picture, is how our manger currently appears.  It is empty except for a few of the townspeople walking or working near by.  Mary and Joseph will arrive on Christmas Eve during the day, and Jesus, the Angel and the Shepherd will arrive around midnight.  Of course the Kings will not get there until Epiphany.  When I was young, we put the entire manger up at once, with everyone taking a turn unwrapping a piece from the tissue paper it had been carefully wrapped up with from the prior year.  When Julia and I were on our honeymoon in Germany, we found this manger set, and we purchased it and have put it up every year since.  We do not wrap most of the pieces in tissue wrap, as we have boxes that hold them in place without causing damage; however, the sheep are small, and they do get wrapped.  I feel that it is important that we encourage family involvement with putting out the manger, as it is easy to just focus on the secular portion of Christmas, but I want my family to keep the real meaning of the season in our mind.
Thank You,
Bill Friedgen