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Hospitality at Christmas Time - Live life with your kids - Issue 080
November 21, 2008
Hi there! ....

This week:

This week was the grand finale for the kid’s public speaking course. We had a presentation/speech night where each of them chose 1-2 speeches and presented them to a group of family and friends in a public hall, using a microphone. They all did so well. Our goal for doing the course was for each one of them to improve themselves, in the area of public speaking, not to be like someone else, or to compete with each other but to excel within themselves. Each one reached this goal.

Apparently there is only 5 percent of the population who are comfortable to stand in front of a group of people and to speak. We want our children to be a part of that 5% as it is those people, people who will address the public who will affect change in our society! As I said to the kids during class, the “public” may just be 2 of your friends – that maybe the hardest thing for you to do; or the “public” maybe a youth group, a church committee, a group of work friends, a community meeting, or a TV interview. It isn’t a matter of how many people you speak to but that you can gather your thoughts and speak clearly on what you believe and why.

Live life with your kids!

Hospitality at Christmas Time

Have you made any plans for Christmas yet? Do you have traditions and nothing changes year to year?

Christmas is a time we associate with family and with memories. In our town we have a young, transient population and there are very few extended families which means most people are far away from their families. Christmas can be a tough time for these people.

Both Peter and I grew up in homes of hospitality. Though our mums opened their homes (and kitchens) in different ways, it is our heritage to be hospitable. It is hard sometimes to continue these traditions when you don’t live near your family. Hard may not be the right word, but you have to be intentional about it. You have to decide to go out of your way and be hospitable.

One Christmas morning, actually it was Joshua’s first Christmas, after church Pete headed out to the farm to check on things while I put the final touches to our fully cooked traditional Christmas lunch (I don’t do traditional lunch these days – but I hadn’t learnt that by this stage!) When Pete came home he had a visitor with him. The man refused to come in to join with our lunch so Pete took a plate out to him on the veranda. It was a bit odd, but Pete filled me in with the story later on. Apparently, as Pete drove up our farm drive way he saw a tractor driving out. Hey! That’s my tractor! The man, had been dropped off in the middle of the bush at the back of our place, very drunk the night before. He had wandered around, not having a clue where he was, found the tractor and decided to drive it to town. Pete made him drive the tractor back to the shed, then he offered him Christmas lunch!

Another year Pete was annoyed with himself for not inviting a couple of backpackers he met at church home for Christmas dinner. So late in the afternoon, he went door knocking on all the backpackers in town, till he found this Sweedish couple. They had only a smattering of English but it was one of the best Christmas dinners we’ve had. The thing that I particularly like, in remembering this story, is that it teaches our children their heritage of being hospitable.

I don’t say these stories to brag about the things that we’ve done, because as I thought about those stories, I was challenged with the fact that I only had 2 stories to tell you – and we’ve celebrated over 15 Christmases together! But these stories are the basis for a tradition that has been established in our home. Christmas night is open house. We invite friends and acquaintances to come along, especially if they are missing family at this time of year. They all bring their left overs (if they have any) and we have a great time of food and fellowship together.

Why is it important to be hospitable at Christmas time? Well, I guess we should be hospitable all through the year, but at Christmas time we are particularly aware of the love that God showed us by sending his son to us, as a babe. Then Jesus grew up – he grew in both wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. (Luke 2:52)

Other Scriptures tell us that God sent Jesus to earth for a purpose, with a plan, and Jesus did everything that His Father asked of Him, which included dying on a cross, a horrible death, made even more horrible by the fact that when he died, as a righteous man a man who had never done anything wrong, he took all the sins that every person, past and present, you and me have ever committed, Jesus took those sins and he died and suffered as if those sins were his own.

This sounds like an Easter thought not Christmas – well it is – Christmas means nothing unless we remember who the baby grew up to be. Jesus our Saviour.

So Christmas is a time where we can show this love, the love that God and Jesus showed us; we can show that to other people by opening our home, making them feel special, sharing our things such as our food, and maybe giving them a gift, and most of all not expecting anything in return.

So as you are planning your Christmas celebrations this year, think of ways to include your neighbours, your friends and maybe even a stranger or two!

Website Updates

There are no additions to Lifestyle Homeschool website this week though considering the topic of this week's newsletter you may like to read more about Christmas Traditions as you start to prepare for the coming celebrations.

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter I know homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, so I have divided my newsletter into four sections and you will receive one section a week; short but regular newsletters!
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