Wednesday, December 24, 2014

frazzled? Let me buy you some time


Well my dear ones,



As I noted last time,

the Christmas season can be

the most hectic time of the year.


Not just Christians,

but plenty of people of other religions,

as well as secular people,

like to get in on the idea of gifting,

the idea of spreading a little joy.




The ancient Hebrew prophet Haggai

called the coming Messiah

the “desire of the nations.”

Hence, it’s not too surprising

that everyone wants “in”

on the action at this time of year.


The trouble is, the 25th of December

comes pretty fast;

it’s really easy to run out of time

and money before you buy

“something for your Aunt Gertrude,”

whom you haven’t seen for 15 years,

but she was kind to you as a child,

and you just wanted to get her something,

and you really meant to,

but you just never had the extra cash,

and the next thing you knew...’s December 24th...yikes!


Not to worry; don’t get frazzled.

Let me buy you some time. =>


For the first three centuries,

no one really cared too much

“when” Jesus was born

as they were way more focused

on the whole “that” he was born

(as in, the ramifications of

 “God with us,” which is what

 the term Emmanuel means).


In the 4th Century,

the church bishops of Rome

decided to celebrate Christ's birth

during the winter solstice,

which is how we got to celebrate

Christmas on the 25th of December.


(you can see more details on that here:




Fast forward to the 16th Century

when the Gregorian calendar,

which is the calendar used today

(by most of the world, not all),

was first introduced by Pope Gregory XIII

via a papal bull in February 1582

to correct an error in the old Julian calendar.


This error had been accumulating over

hundreds of years so that every 128 years

the calendar was out of sync with the

equinoxes and solstices by one additional day.


(you can read full details here:




However, the majority of the Orthodox churches worldwide (Greek & Russian, for example)

still use the Julian calendar, created under

the reign of Julius Caesar in 45 BC.

Hence, they celebrate Christmas on January 7th.


Additionally, in many traditions,

regardless of the calendar used,

gifts are exchanged not on Christmas day

but rather on the Feast of the Epiphany

(Epiphany is Koine Greek for

 “the revealing,” while

 Theophany is ancient Greek

 for the same);

depending on the tradition,

it celebrates the baptism of Jesus


or the presentation of gifts

by the Magi (Western);

hence, it is also known as

Three Kings Day.


And no doubt you’ve heard of

Shakespeare’s play, “Twelfth Night.”

The Twelfth Night is January 5th,

the last day of the Christmas Season

before Epiphany.

And many people would start

giving gifts on Christmas

and give one a day up to the twelfth.


So on Christmas day,

things are just getting started!





Bottom line:


Gregorian Christmas is

December 25th with

an Epiphany on January 6th.


Julian Christmas is

January 7th with

an Epiphany on January 19th.




even if you can’t manage to

get your Aunt Gertrude a gift

by Russian Little Christmas

(January 7th),

as long as you get something

FedExed to her by

the Orthodox Twelfth Night

(January 18th, the night before

 their Epiphany)

you are good to go.



You’ve got plenty of time,

so relax and have yourself

a blessed and Merry Christmas!




Have a great week. =)


grace, peace, and love to you,


Sunday, December 21, 2014



Well my dear ones,



For most of us,

the end of the year,

the holidays,

the Christmas season...


is the most hectic time of the year.


Yet no matter how busy we get,

there are some things not to be missed.


As I mentioned last time,

there are things to be learned

from Miss Cheryl

especially in how we came to meet.


One day, as I was putting on a shirt,

I felt a strong pull of

“not that one, this one.”

So I went with it.


I had to go to the bank and get some cash,

but when I went to the machine out front,

it was out of order, so I had to go inside.


Expecting a huge pile of people

(due to the time of year)

I was surprised to see no one in line.


When I got to the teller, Miss Sheryl,

she commented on my shirt,

that she used to go the that church,

but that she and her husband had split up,

and she kept running in to him there.

She said she needed to find a new place,

a similar place,

but one where she wouldn’t have to worry

about running in to her ex.

Hence, I was able to hook her up

with a similar one.


But if I hadn’t felt the pull

to wear a certain shirt,


if the cash machine hadn’t been broken,


if there had not have been no line

in order to allow me a chance

to talk to Miss Sheryl,

things would have worked out much differently.


So, were those all coincidences?


Personally, I don’t believe in coincidences;

I see my meeting of Miss Sheryl

as a Divine Appointment.


And I think we all have many such

appointments awaiting us in our lives,

the trick being to be receptive enough

to see them when they come along.



Have a great week. =)


grace, peace, and love to you,