It’s the most wonderful, jam-packed, exhausting, sacred, family-friendly, family-missing, family-painful, beautiful, special, and fun time of the year. Ready…Set… Go! Here’s my collective wisdom on how to enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas and live to tell about it:
Focus on the people and thankfulness. Keep everything else as simple as possible. This is our year to celebrate Thanksgiving at our house and I’ve been asking God how to make it memorable and special for the family. First of all, my adult kids are all bringing something to add to the meal. Our seven-year-old granddaughter is creating 22 place cards. Decorations are simple: candles, pumpkins, flowers. We all hold hands for the blessing and gratefully give thanks together. Our genealogy/family focus at school this year has got me thinking about how to naturally spur on family memories and expressions of genuine thanksgiving. I’m considering placing little boxes of questions around the table for small groups to discuss. We will take lots of inter-generational pictures and even try to fill in pages of the genealogy/family book.
P.S. - Shhhhh… I’m thinking of having an after dinner scavenger hunt outside in the dark. Flashlights and head-lamps make everything more fun for kids. Cousin bonding time is precious and fleeting, we need to do something memorable!
And now for the scary part…..
Christmas is less than six weeks away!
At HCA our strategy is the same-
Jesus, people, and meaningful simplicity. This year, as usual, we are providing our HCA community several ways to do some thoughtful giving. (Several of you have asked about the shoe-boxes. As a school, we are focusing on our troops this year, but boxes are available at the front door of Holden Chapel if your family would like to participate.)
- Orphans in Belarus (350 children)
- Christmas Shoppe (Dec. 6)
- Cards & small gifts for our military who are deployed this year
1. Olga and Yasha Goncherenko’s ministry to the
orphans of Belarus, Spring of Revival, has been a center-piece of our giving for many years. Their ministry is very close to our hearts. We have been a part of it since it began about 20 years ago. Some of the first kids in Olga’s ministry now work with her to serve the next generation. We love them dearly and want to support their ministry every way we can. So again this year, please be mindful of the precious little ones who get very little, if anything, for Christmas. Please help purchase some chocolates to delight their hearts and help them know that somebody somewhere cares about them. Our students will make cards to send in with the donations and we always hear back from them as they make cards for us.
You may send cash or checks. Please make checks out to CEC and put "
Spring of Revival" on the note line at the bottom. You may send in a check or bring it to the Christmas Concert on Dec. 19th at 7pm
Christmas Shoppe is on Dec. 6,
THE FRIDAY AFTER THANKSGIVING! (Details coming soon)
3. Due to the overwhelming response to the Veteran’s Day Ceremony (Thank you, Mrs. Heenan!) We have decided to write cards and letters and send
small gifts and cookies to the deployed troops. Please bring in some items next week you think they might enjoy overseas and we will take them to Worcester where they will be packed and sent immediately.
We pray that you will have a blessed time with family and friends at Thanksgiving. Please keep in mind that the holiday season can be difficult for many. Please reach out to them! I pray that no matter where you are coming from this year, you will remember that God is faithful, He loves you, and He never gives up hope for us because HE IS LIVING HOPE. As always, we need to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep, just like Jesus did and is still doing!
God bless you all,
Susan Hayward, Principal