80. The Angels Are Singin’!

J.M.J.

+

051

Hello, my Friend!  Hello today!

I hope you are in a good way!

No matter rain, sleet, snow, or shine,

I always hope your day is fine!

“There He is!   The King of Kings!

Must be for whom the Angel sings!

But wait!  So many angels in the sky!

Praisin’ Him Who is on high!

They’re singin’ of grand Peace on Earth,

Because of Baby Jesus’ Birth!

They’re singin’ for those of good will,

On this night now, so holy still!”

1221152031a

 1226151702a

1216151541ab

 These words are those that could have been,

Those of the shepherds…friends and kin.

Those shepherds of so long ago,

Were blessed with quite a heav’nly show!

How do we know of  Christmas night?

St. Pat learned well and taught it right!

183

 St. Pat taught us of Jesus’ Birth,

So long awaited for on Earth!

Those herald angels’ joyful song

Is one we’d waited for…so long!

794a

St. Pat taught us of this bright night,

When Heav’n proclaimed the real, true Light!

The world, in darkness, laid in wait,

With God’s promise decidin’ fate.

But then it came…fullness of time,

For Baby Jesus Birth sublime!

1226150900

The shepherds near, kept watch that night,

To keep their sheep right in their sight.

They would protect their sheep from harm,

But what they saw caused them alarm!

 The glory of God ’round them shone,

At first, God’s Angel was alone…

The shepherds…they were filled with fear…

 God’s Angel was, to them, so near.

But Angel’s words brought comfort then,

Angel spoke to those shepherd men.

Don’t be afraid, the Angel said.

To joy, the Angel, their thoughts, led!

049

The Leprechauns are shepherds’ friends…

From morning’s light to when day ends!

063

Remember David who was small

Against Goliath who was tall…

Well, David’s story’s one they love…

How Grace helped David from above…

How God showed one might not be tall,

And still be mighty after all!

Our David, King, was shepherd, too,

So friend to shepherd’s what we do!

Of course, our own dear good St. Pat,

Was shepherd, too…sheep and all that!

So Leprechauns don’t wonder why,

‘Twas shepherds who saw in the sky,

The Angel who did come that night

Brought God’s grand message with great might!

“Don’t be afraid, I bring good news,

Of joy you’ll gain…not joy you’ll lose!

And once again, our David’s name

Is right there with Lord Jesus’ fame!

The City of David’s the place,

Where Jesus Lord first showed His Face!

1224151713a

Bethlehem’s the City we say,

‘Tis where Jesus had His Birth-day!

Angel said the Messiah’s born…

Our Savior…Lord, on Christmas morn!

And Angel said a sign would be

The swaddling clothes on The Baby,

048

Who had a manger for a bed

In which to lay His tiny Head!

‘Twas then that many angels said

The words with which the Angel led,

That gave to God great glory…praise,

On that grand and fine Day of Days!

They said peace to those on the earth…

Proclaiming this with Jesus’ birth,

For those who have been blest with Grace.

Are blest thanks to this Holy Place.

The angels then went back to Heav’n,

When these words to shepherds were giv’n.

The shepherds then went forth to see,

What God made known so joyfully!

066

They went “in haste” and saw the sign…

In the manger…the Babe Divine!

844a

They told how angels spoke to them,

About the Babe in Bethlehem!

038

059

All were amazed to hear them speak…

These shepherds all, so simply meek.

Sweet Mary heard all that was said,

Of her Son in His manger-bed.

She kept these things within her heart,

As she did try to do her part.

The shepherds then left to return,

Amazed for what God had them learn.

For all that they had heard and seen,

Their Praise to God was mighty keen…

To Him they gave glory and praise,

For that most wondrous of all days!

When St. Pat told this to us all,

No matter to him… tall or small.

What wondrous things these stories told…

That’s how it’s been since days of old.

So now I think I’ll find me Mum…

There’s a good chance that she’ll dance some!

For Christmas, Santa brought a dress

For her to dance in loveliness!

1229151053a

So now she wants to dance and dance,

And dance and dance at every chance!

1229151055

1229151057a

I am so glad we talked today,

God bless you is what I do say

775a

Note from Nannie:

The Scripture from Luke 2:8-20 (New American Bible) was the Source that guided these rhymes!

Finney and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you, and all those for whom you pray, a Blessed New Year filled with the Peace and Joy of Faith, Hope, and Trust in God! 

God bless you and thank you for stopping by!

79. Nollaig Shona Duit!

J.M.J.

+

842a

Omgosh! Look at all that gold dust!

“The Gaelic greeting for ‘Merry Christmas’ is: Nollaig Shona Duit…which is pronounced as null-ig hun-a dit.”   http://www.ireland-information.com

148-10-0103161417-1

583a

Note from Nannie:

As you can see in the above picture, Finney has placed his Christmas stones, which are just covered with his gold dust from his pot o’ gold, all around Baby Jesus!

Christmas has come!  Time for Celebratin’!  Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus!

Now Finney wants to show you other Nativity scenes of Family and Friends that he has seen!

844a

2325 - Copya

1855a

1907 - Copya

1216151623a

129-385

835

1226150905ab

1226150906a

1226150900

1226150902ba

1224151713a

1224151714

699a

791a

Sacred Heart of Jesus, please bless you and all for whom you pray!

Finney and I wish you a fine, grand, wonderful Christmas day!

Nollaig Shona Duit!

775a

78. Celebratin’!

 J.M.J.

+

921

Hello, my Friend!  Hello today!

I hope you are in a good way!

No matter rain, sleet, snow, or shine,

I always hope your day is fine!

When Christmas Day does finally come,

It’s so excitin’ and so fun!

I wake up early when I see,

How Santa Claus remembered me!

1220151004ab

Sometimes he brings me brand new socks…

Might put them in a fine wood box.

Maybe a sweater Santa’d bring…

To wear when carols we would sing!

Finney12-0102161019-a

Sometimes a new green jacket’s fine,

That Santa brings for me…just mine!

But mostly Santa brings us Love…

From God, our Father, who’s above,

In Heaven, where He waits for when

The time comes that He says we can

Be with Him there forevermore…

‘Tis true, ’tis said…this is not lore.

But while we still live on the Earth,

We celebrate Lord Jesus birth,

 With lots of Family food and fun,

From early morn, till day is done!

We love to laugh and sing and play,

More than we do most every day!

837.JPG

 ‘Tis special things that take our time

While we do hear Christmas bells chime.

We have grand meals that are dee-lish…

All fav’rite foods of we, Irish!

And then we dance, and dance, and dance…

Just everytime we have a chance!

293

Our music goes on all the day,

While angels sing, our fiddles play!

 1221151959

But there is something that we do

On Christmas day for us…and you!

We take lots of our pot’s gold dust…

To scatter it we feel we must…

So all the world can know ’tis true,

That Christmas gives a merry view!

259

Christmas has come to help us be

The real and true “good” you and me!

So when you see gold dust around,

Though you may not have heard a sound,

Who scattered it may have been me,

Or some Leprechaun you can’t see!

 1451

There could be gold dust on the ground,

That isn’t easy to be found…

But flowers…they could sometimes shine

By clumps of gold dust that is fine.

1219151712ab

And sometimes lots of gold dust clings,

And forms a grand, gold ball that brings

Fine brightness and gold sparkly light,

That is a brilliant heav’nly sight!

 Just a few days now, and ’twill be,

God’s only Son’s Nativity!

The Earth will glisten with our gold,

Just as it’s been from days of old.

The angels sang for Jesus’ Birth,

Peace for good-willed folks on the Earth!

1221152031a

1216151541ab

So, everything is now in place,

To celebrate that joyful space

Where Heaven and the Earth did meet,

For God’s amazin’, grandest Feat!

706

 We’ll sing and feast and laugh and play,

To celebrate Jesus’ Birthday!

1222152234a

Our music and our pot’s gold dust…

All give us great reason to trust,

That we’ve prepared in fine, grand ways,

For this amazin’ Day of days!

940a

Our decorations are all set,

And they, for the world, will help let

All people know the Word was born,

On that fine, grand, first Christmas morn!

926

‘Tis most important that we pray…

Give thanks to God for this fine Day…

Give thanks to God for His dear Son,

Who loved us all…salvation won…

Give thanks to God for how we’re blest

To live in Faith…Hope for the best

Of Love in life and all that’s good,

Just like God always planned we would.

We Leprechauns are grateful for

Our place in Irish life and lore.

We hope that you are grateful, too,

For all that God has given you.

This Christmastime helps us think right,

About the Way, Truth, and the Light!

I hope your Christmas Eve brings you,

To Christmas morn with thoughts anew

Of how God loves each of us… all,

No matter whether short or tall!

954 I just can’t wait for Christmas Day!

God bless you is what I do say!

815

1213150834a

775a

1213150834a

77. Nannie’s Fun Facts! (15)

J.M.J.

+

137-700

Hello, Friend!  Nannie here!

It’s so fun to see Finney all about his decoratin’ for Christmas!

791

 I hope you loved seein’ him in his bed, after lights were out, enjoyin’ lookin’ at his lighted tree!  How fun is that?!  Looked pretty cozy !

954

If anyone would like to know about some traditional Irish Christmas customs, (C) Copyright http://www.ireland-information.com gives us some fun information.  We read that a candle in the window is “a symbol of welcome to Mary and Joseph as they travelled looking for shelter.”  Also, during Penal times, when priests were not allowed to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, a candle in the window would indicate a “safe place” to offer Mass.

 825

Another tradition involving a lighted candle was to set the kitchen table, after Christmas Eve’s evening meal, with “a loaf of bread filled with caraway seeds and raisins, a pitcher of milk, and a large lit candle.  The door to the house was left unlatched so that Mary and Joseph, or any wandering traveller, could avail of the welcome.”  This tradition is referred to as the “laden table.”

816

 Yet another tradition involves a ring of Holly for the doors.  “Holly was one of the main plants that flourished at Christmas time and which gave the poor ample means with which to decorate their dwellings.”

832a

We read at http://www.irishcentral.com…”If you’re looking for a Church packed to the rafters, look no further than any Church in Ireland at midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.  This is a huge social gathering where family, friends, and neighbors who you may not have seen all year come together and celebrate Christmas.”  We also read that January 6, Feast of the Epiphany, is traditionally when the Irish finish celebrating Christmas.  Tradition has it that women get the day off and the men of the house get to do the housework, cooking and taking down of the Christmas decorations.  Women meet up, have a day out and treat themselves.”

Finney shows us how pine cones become beautifully sparkly gold-y with a generous sprinklin’ of gold dust from the bottom of the pots o’ gold!

812

Also, in the last story-rhyme, Decoratin’ (Post #76), we spoke of a “Christmas Stone.”

813

In Post #75, we spoke a little about the great King  David of the Israelites.  We spoke about how my Dad* (from Cobh in County Cork) prayed the 23rd Psalm (a psalm of David) in his times of need.  Finney and his fellow Leprechauns have a special place in their minds and hearts for King David.  David’s story was one of the many stories that St. Patrick knew and could talk about.  The Leprechaun world was so delighted with this story of the ancestor of Baby Jesus!  He was a great King and faced a great battle with the Philistine Giant Goliath…and David was just a young shepherd at the time…and he was so much smaller than Goliath!  So, at Christmastime, when we celebrate the birthday of Baby Jesus in Bethlehem, the city of King David (because St. Joseph was of the Family of David), Finney’s Leprechaun world remembers David with a stone.  The stone represents the stone that David used to win the battle with Goliath…shows that you can be small and do great things!  Not only was David small against Goliath, so, too, was the city of his birth (Bethlehem).      “But you, Bethlehem-Ephrathah, too small to be among the clans of Judah, From you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel;  Whose origin is from of old, from ancient times…He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock by the strength of the Lord, in the majestic name of the Lord, his God.”  (Micah, Chapter 5)

I’m sure you can see why the Leprechauns love King David!

We mentioned in the story-rhyme about Missie the donkey (Post #67), that, because Finney loves Missie as he does, he always wants to make sure the donkey has a special place in every Nativity scene.  Finney also loves to see the Nativity scene with lots of sheep, with a special thought for King David!  This shouldn’t be hard because Ireland has lots of sheep!

703

 127-347a

Finney knows that, as a shepherd,  King David  took care of his sheep.  A shepherd will leave the herd of sheep, if one is missing, and go to find the little lost one.  St. Patrick taught that this is what Jesus does, too.  Jesus is our Good Shepherd.

835

Finney must be all worn out because of all the decoratin’ work he has done!  He probably could not wait to get to bed!  He also wants to be very sure that he does not see Santa.  We all know that we should be asleep pretty quickly on Christmas Eve, because Santa needs his privacy and does not want anyone see him do his work!

136a

Sleep well as we await the birthday of little Jesus, the King of Kings!

065

 God bless you and thank you for stopping by!

785

1213150834a

This Christmas scene was painted by Stevie Towne.

*We spoke of my Dad’s name being David…he would speak of  himself  as Daíthín (sounds like Dah-heen) …little David…how fun that is!

76. Decoratin’!

 J.M.J.

+

807a

Hello, my Friend!  Hello today!

I hope you are in a good way!

No matter rain, sleet, snow, or shine,

I always hope your day is fine! 

What fun to decorate today!

‘Tis Christmastime is what I say!

Let’s bring the candles with their light,

To make a festive and bright sight!

816   815

826

My Christmas tree… it looks so grand! 

Just one of many in our land. 

But it, to me, is a fine sight, 

With all its Christmas lights so bright! 

137-697

And after I turn out my light…

After I go to bed at night,

I love to watch, my tree…its glow,

When Christmas beauty,  it does show!

We gather pine cones from outside…

Shake on gold dust, from pot’s inside!

 We only use full fine pine cones,

Not chewed up ones cast by the stones,

Just on the grass, when Squirrel’s done!

Sure looks like Squirrel had some fun!

And, of course, besides the pine cone,

We also have the Christmas stone!

813

But let’s keep workin’…do some more! 

Let’s put our wreath right on the door!

791

832a

Let’s wrap our gifts and make them shine,

With love and care and efforts fine!

 Let’s hang our stockin’s…Christmas scene…

Sparkly red… blue… and, always, green!

 769a.JPG

To decorate is so much fun

You never want to feel you’re done!

And everyone has their own way,

To decorate just how they may!

Sometimes when I might walk at night,

I see in homes grand Christmas sight!

I see the sparkles and lights bright,

That shine in homes from Christmas light!

054 

The light can come from trees of pine,

Decorated with Christmas shine. 

102a

The branches carry sights so fine, 

To celebrate that Night…Divine!

The colors are all different kinds,

From different Families…different minds.

Some prefer the reds and greens,

While oranges make other scenes…

Old Family treasures find their way,

To hang on branches for that Day!

And Angels love to be a part,

Of Christmastime, right from its start!

And then there are just things you see,

That are just plain so Christmas-y!

The lighted scenes are fun to see,

And they are just… very pretty!

But well we know… what’s the reason…

For this lovely Christmas season.

For everyone, no matter where,

‘Tis Baby Jesus birthday there!

Good Santa Claus gets on his knee,

To worship Jesus, so humbly.

926

I, Finney, know Santa brings fun,

And presents…joy…for everyone!

958

Our Little King…Emmanuel,

Brings hope and love and joy to tell!

So, for His Birthday, we wait now,

And when it comes we well know how,

We’ll celebrate our King of Kings,

And we do hope the whole world sings!

927a

I am so glad we talked today!

God bless you is what I do say!

785

815

75. Nannie’s Fun Facts (14)

J.M.J.

+

703

Hello, Friend!  Nannie here!

 Finney is very delighted that it is Christmastime.  Finney enjoys gettin’ ready for Christmas as much as he loves when Christmas Day finally arrives!

137-697

When the last days of Autumn begin to usher in the newly winter-like days, Finney loves to watch Nature do its thing.  Makes it all the more fun to be able to anticipate the coming of Christmas…the birthday of the Savior of us all!

129-384

 All of the following passages are taken from Christian Prayer:  The Liturgy of the Hours.

“On that day sweet wine will flow from the mountains, milk and honey from the hills, alleluia…

The mountains and hills will sing praise to God;  all the trees of the forest will clap their hands, for he is coming, the Lord of a kingdom that lasts for ever, alleluia.”  (page 43)

Christ our King will come to us:  the Lamb of God foretold by John.      (page 45)

From the root of Jesse a flower will blossom, the glory of the Lord will fill the earth, and all creation shall see the saving power of God.                   (page 50)

In the Old Testament book of Isaiah, Chapter 7, The Lord told Isaiah to say to Ahaz (King of Judah), to ‘Be careful, be calm, and don’t be afraid’…Isaiah also said to Ahaz, ‘Listen, O House of  David!…the Lord Himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.”  (Page 53)

682

It’s quite thought provoking to ponder on the journey of  Mary and Joseph!  I don’t know about you, but I never knew it was 80 miles from Nazareth (in Galilee) to Bethlehem (in Judaea), where King David was born.  Bethlehem was the destination of Mary and Joseph because Joseph was of the line of David, and they travelled all that way with 9 month pregnant Mary on a donkey, and Joseph walkin’!

126-341a

The story of David brings a lifetime of thoughts to reflect on, and so fun to entertain those thoughts in a greater fashion at this Christmastime of year. David was just a young shepherd boy when he represented the Israelites and was single-handedly responsible for  slaying the Philistine giant, Goliath, with his slingshot and a stone.  After being chosen by God and anointed by Samuel, David then went on to become a powerful king and ruler.

As we read in the Catholic Encyclopedia (http://www.newadvent.org), David was “the ancestor of the Messias (Greek form of Hebrew ‘Messiah’).  We continue to read, “Incidents in the life of David are regarded by the Fathers as foreshadowing the life of Christ;  Bethlehem is the birthplace of both;  the shepherd life of David points out Christ, the Good Shepherd; the five stones chosen to slay Goliath are typical of the five wounds.  The betrayal by his trusted counselor, Achitophel, and the passage over the Cedron remind us of Christ’s Sacred Passion.  Many of the Davidic Psalms, as we learn from the New Testament, are clearly typical of the future Messias.”

127-347a

Thinking of the small, young shepherd boy who was victorious over the Philistine Goliath, is great to bring to mind when each of us is facing the challenges of our path in life…when sometimes a challenge(s) may seem bigger, harder, and worse than anything we feel we can handle, it could only help to imagine David offering himself to face Goliath, speaking only of his Faith and Trust in God to see him through…and to emerge intact with the overwhelming incident behind him…by the Grace of God!

And, of course, we have  the great grace-filled comfort of…

Psalm 23

The Lord, Shepherd and Host

A psalm of David.

 The Lord is my shepherd;  I shall not want.

In verdant pastures he gives me repose;

Beside restful waters he leads me;

he refreshes my soul.

He guides me in right paths

for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk in the dark valley

I fear no evil;  for you are at my side

With your rod and your staff

that give me courage.

You spread the table before me

in the sight of my foes;

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

Only goodness and kindness follow me

all the days of my life;

And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord

                                      for years to come.   (New American Bible)

 As I write these holy words, so loved by so many, my mind is brought to my Irish immigrant Dad in the last years of his almost 91 year life.  Due to his infirmities, Dad (1904-1995) spent his last few years living with us, and at the times when he was most overwhelmed by the thought that perhaps his passing to the Lord was near, he would ask me to pray the 23rd Psalm with him…this was the prayer he had chosen for the time of his death…my Dad’s name?  You guessed it…David.

638a

 God bless you, and I pray the peace and hope of Advent fills your days!  Thank you for stopping by!

920

74. Anticipatin’!

J.M.J.

+

704

Hello, my Friend!  Hello today!

I hope you are in a good way!

No matter rain, sleet, snow, or shine,

I always hope your day is fine!

‘Tis such a cozy time of year,

So comfy, snug and warm in here!

085

It is nice, too, the crisp, cool air,

That feels good and smells good out there!

When I am walkin’ to and fro,

So much to see where’er I go!

The squirrel’s still runnin’ around…

543a

The frost is coverin’ the ground.

657a

Each plant is covered with the frost,

Many blooms have long been lost.

659.JPG

The autumn sky shows shadow grays

Season’s changed in many ways!

466

The moon and stars, though, still shine bright,

And light the sky each cool, fall night.

474a

 The nests are showin’ in bare trees…

675a

Some geese still fly high in their V’s.

648a

Ducks still swim before lake’s freeze,

631

And seagulls join right in with ease.

 614

The little birds…they still fly, too…

 490a

We’re dressin’ warmer…me and you!

 122-103

But while this happens, we do wait

For Christmas Day…it won’t be late!

927a

We Leprechauns love Santa, too,

Such Christmas fun for me and you!

700

But we know well, whose special day,

We celebrate in Christmas’ way…

‘Tis Baby Jesus, King of Kings,

The Babe for Whom all Heaven sings!

We know about that time so well,

Because of what St. Pat did tell…

St. Pat told us, ’twas long ago,

There was the journey that we know.

When Mary and her Joseph went

To where they were, by census, sent.

The gentle donkey Mary rode,

Eased her discomfort on the road.

 126-341a

Dear Joseph…he loved her so much…

God graced him with an Angel’s touch.

They left their home in Galilee,

And they went south near the Dead Sea.

From Nazareth, the town, they came…

To a place, Bethlehem by name.

As David’s City it has fame,

David, the King…the very same!

This would fulfill the prophecy,

‘Twas eighty miles by donkey!

 kevin_missy-a

In Bethlehem, there was an Inn,

But no one said to them, “Come in!”

Judaean hospitality,

Did not become reality…

For there was no room for them there.

They simply had to go elsewhere.

But soon it was, they found a place,

Fit for a King?  ‘Twas not the case…

The King of Kings would soon be born

On what we call first Christmas morn,

Where it would be safe from danger…

Jesus was born in a manger.  (Luke 2:11)

708

Barn animals were also there,

Along with Mary’s donkey, where

The Son of God would lay his Head,

On the hay of His manger bed.

706

St. Pat taught us about this Birth,

Of Jesus, God, upon our Earth.

So, as we wait for Christmas Day,

We will anticipate the way,

We’ll celebrate with such delight,

Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and Light!

So…now…more Christmas work to do…

And, oh, I am so tired, too.

010

Maybe I will just take a snooze,

So, when time comes I will not lose

The time I need for secret fun,

For Christmas, so I get it done!

I simply have to light my tree,

So from my window, you can see!

I hope you love my Christmas lights,

Among the many Christmas sights,

That are so splendid and so fine,

To celebrate that Birth, Divine!

I am so glad we talked today.

God bless you is what I do say!

134-541a

697