Welcome to my Christmas blog ~ Christmas Pudding

"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year." ~ Charles Dickens

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The A-Z of Christmas ~ A

Hello everyone and welcome to the  A-Z of  Christmas!
Each day, beginning today through to Christmas, I will be sharing some  decorations, traditions, and Christmas memories. I hope you will join me every day and be inspired.

Today's letter is the first letter of the alphabet. A is for...
....Advent, angels, Away In A Manger...

Although Advent Sunday begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, in secular society the keeping of an Advent calendar is a popular tradition which usually begins on December 1.

When my hubby was in the Ministry, we always celebrated Advent in our church with the lighting of a candle each week. There were five candles in all; each candle represented a prophesy foretold of the coming of the Saviour. The fifth candle was the Christ candle which was lit on Christmas Day.
It brought a special touch to each service leading up to Christmas and it was a wonderful way to get the congregation involved in the service.

When my children were growing up, I used to make my own Advent calendar. Like most young families, money was tight so I had to make do with what I had. I used my art skills quite a bit in those days as well as my imagination.

I made my Advent calendar, which was a large Christmas tree, cut out of cardboard. I covered  the tree with green foil wrapping paper and then I drew 25 little ornaments each with the number corresponding to that day on the calendar tree. I drew Christmas balls, angels, trains, toy soldiers, candy canes, etc. You get the picture!

Each day, one of the boys would take their turn placing an ornament on the tree. The 25th of course, was always the Nativity. It was great fun and the boys always enjoyed it. We made lots of memories.

This is the angel which I used for over twenty years on top of our Christmas tree.

The song, Away In a Manger, is usually the first carol that children are taught. It was originally published in 1885 and the author of the first two stanzas is unknown. The third stanza was penned by John T. McFarland. The music to the song was composed by William J. Kirkpatrick in 1885. There are actually two melodies to the song.

Adoration of the Shepherds- Gerard van Honthorst {1590-1656}

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.
The stars in the sky looked down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes;
I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray;
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
And fit us for Heaven to live with Thee there.

Thank you for visiting and I hope you will join me again tomorrow for the letter B of Christmas. Wishing you all a delightful day. Till then, I'm keeping ...

Christmas in my heart all year round ~ Sandi


  1. I love coming to your blog! What a wonderful family memory! Your boys probably remember how special the advent calendar was by it being handmade.

    I especially like the last line of Away in a Manger that says: And fit us for Heaven to live with thee there.
    Kinda speaks for itself.

    Thanks Sandi!
    Take care.

  2. Wow this is such a cleaver idea!!! I love it!

  3. I love it too! I'll be back every day!

  4. Wonderful you are sharing your family memories, you are a true gem and such a joy