Christmas Tear Jerkers

Imagine the lovely and talented Lindsey Stirling performing live and free of cost her gorgeous rendition of the beloved song Hallelujah on her violin. And imagine everyone around her ignoring it. 

That’s what happened when she gave a live performance at a train station where travelers were too busy to stop and listen.

Now, get out your kleenex…

Imagine a Jesse Pinkman-like character – a clean but troubled pizza delivery man – who perhaps is close to fallen back off the wagon. Then something wondrous happens.

Imagine…Walmart is a Holy Land:

“May I buy your groceries?”

Rather than buy ourselves and our young adult children gifts this Christmas, we decided to walk the walk.  You know.  That walk where you stop indulging yourself with increasingly frivolous items and actually reach out to help others not as fortunate.

We bought several Walmart gift cards with funds we would have used to buy our gifts for one another and our kids.   Then our daughter and daughter-in-law (who is pregnant with twins, our 10th and 11th grandchildren, so yes, we have more than enough blessings in our life), Mr. Wilkinson  and I went to our local Walmart yesterday, a beautiful Sunday morning.  Not quite knowing how to do what we wanted to do, just praying we’d get it right and not embarrass anyone or get arrested.  Our girls decided on an approach, took the gift cards, and my husband and I stood at a distance, ready to help if needed.

The girls walked along and watched the check-out lines, and when they felt a tug at their kind hearts, they went up to people ready to check out and asked,

“May I buy your groceries?”

The initial responses were ones of shock and disbelief.  No one was rude, or dismissive.  They just wanted to know why.  The girls answered that they were part of a family who decided this was the way they wanted to celebrate Christmas.  Then a few asked if they were with a church or an organization.  No, the girls said, we are just a regular family and this is our gift to you!  No strings attached!  From us!

Then the miracles came.

Keep reading here.

Hat tip to Baldilocks on Facebook for those last two.

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All She Wants For Christmas Are Your Christmas Cards…

Meet Sa’fyre Terry:

safyre

That is what the five year old looked like when her house was set ablaze by an arsonist (or arsonists.)

She is the sole survivor of the ferocious house fire that ravaged her home in Schenectady, NY during the early morning hours of May 2, 2013, claiming the lives of three of her siblings and her father. (This monstrous crime is still unsolved).

When firefighters found Safyre in what was left of her New York home, she was clutching her father’s chest, who saved her life, but couldn’t protect her from all of the flames.

Sa’fyre suffered complications from severe burns over 75% of her body and both her right hand and left foot had to be amputated.

She was in the hospital until  February 19, 2014.

safyre3

It wasn’t until March of 2014, at age 6, that Safyre’s left foot had to be amputated.

The Albany County Correctional Facility (correctional officers and volunteers who support seriously ill children) shared what Liz Dolder, Sa’fyre’s Aunt and legal guardian told them  about the amputation:

Sa’fyre’s left foot will be amputated from below the knee. “Stunned doesn’t begin to express all we we’re feeling hearing this. By the grace of God Sa’fyre was distracted and not understanding what the doctor was explaining to us… Her left foot is not growing properly and it is the same foot that she had toes amputated from previously. Her foot has no range of motion, no movement at all!”

Although Sa’fyre is currently unaware that this procedure will take place soon, her family has been preparing her the best way they can with Sa’fyre stating that she wants a prosthetic foot so that she can run and play with the other kids!

In March of 2015 she was fitted with a prosthetic leg.

safyre4

Now her community is rallying around the brave little girl to ask for folks across the world to send her Christmas cards to ensure that this year gets a little bit cheerier for Safyre who has already been through so much.

safyre-christmas

“Safyre lost everything—her father, her mother, her sister, her brothers, her home, her favorite toy, her favorite outfit — everything that was familiar to her,” Liz shared. “She even lost the one thing we all take for granted—her reflection. But she wakes every morning with a smile on her face. She is the true definition of hope, faith and love.”

1449680106-chrixmas-cards-safyre-today-151208-03-1a91f10e13adbbdd331896e41b47a204today-inline-large

I think we can do this:

Safyre
P.O. Box 6126
Schenectady, NY 12306
USA

I hope this little girl is deluged with so many Christmas cards, her auntie has to rent a storage locker to keep them all in.

A crowdfunding donation page has been set up for Safyre, here.

Take it away Sandler and Young:

It’s Christmas Eve…

Enough with politics and the now non-stop flow of racial violence  – People are supposed to protest a police officer defending himself from an armed black teenager now? I can’t even deal with it. It’s Christmas Eve for pity’s sake. Can’t people take a holiday from the constant race-mongering? My God.

The rules are the same for everyone: 1. Obey the law. 2. Don’t resist arrest if you’re caught not obeying the law. 3. Do. not. point. a. gun. at. a. police. officer.

Also – don’t blame other people or “the man” for your own problems. It’s not complicated.

You’re welcome. Merry Christmas, love Deb.

***

Here are some magnificent Christmas Eve hymns for all of you.

O Magnum Mysterium – Morten Lauridsen – Kings College:

 

Wexford Carol as sung by the always remarkable Alison Krauss.

Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done,
In sending His belovèd Son.
With Mary holy we should pray
To God with love this Christmas Day;
In Bethlehem upon the morn
There was a blest Messiah born.

The night before that happy tide
The noble virgin and her guide
Were long time seeking up and down
To find a lodging in the town.
But mark how all things came to pass:
From every door repelled, alas!
As long foretold, their refuge all
Was but a humble oxen stall.

Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep;
To whom Gods angels did appear
Which put the shepherds in great fear.
Prepare and go, the angels said,
To Bethlehem, be not afraid;
For there youll find, this happy morn,
A princely Babe, sweet Jesus born.

With thankful heart and joyful mind,
The shepherds went the babe to find,
And as Gods angel has foretold,
They did our Savior Christ behold.
Within a manger He was laid,
And by His side the virgin maid
Attending to the Lord of Life,
Who came on earth to end all strife.

Gaudete ( “rejoice!”):

 

A Birth In Bethlehem

Merry Christmas to all my readers. Hope your holiday season is fun and festive – and the coming year filled with happiness.

Here are a few of my favorite Christmas carols.

Emma Christian sings Oikan Ayns Bethlehem (Birth in Bethlehem), a traditional Celtic song that tells the nativity story – sung in Manx.

The Palestrina Choir sings the Wexford Carol, aka Good People All:

The Palestrina Choir of St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Dublin beautifully sing the wonderful traditional Irish Christmas song the Wexford Carol. The treble soloist is Louis Mahon. This comes from their fantastic album Christmas With The Palestrina Choir which has just become available for purchase from Amazon.co.uk.

 Good people all, this Christmas time,

Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done,
In sending His belovèd Son.
With Mary holy we should pray
To God with love this Christmas Day;
In Bethlehem upon the morn
There was a blest Messiah born.

The night before that happy tide
The noble virgin and her guide
Were long time seeking up and down
To find a lodging in the town.
But mark how all things came to pass:
From every door repelled, alas!
As long foretold, their refuge all
Was but a humble oxen stall.

Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep;
To whom Gods angels did appear
Which put the shepherds in great fear.
Prepare and go, the angels said,
To Bethlehem, be not afraid;
For there youll find, this happy morn,
A princely Babe, sweet Jesus born.

With thankful heart and joyful mind,
The shepherds went the babe to find,
And as Gods angel has foretold,
They did our Savior Christ behold.
Within a manger He was laid,
And by His side the virgin maid
Attending to the Lord of Life,
Who came on earth to end all strife.

A school choir in Jena, Germany sung an exquisite rendition of Brightest and Best for the last Christmas concert of their school choir before their school closed.

Choir: School Choir of the former Adolf-Reichwein- Gymnasium Jena:

Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming & The Blessed Son of God:

A Compilation vid composed of clips from the “Christmas at Baylor” DVD Produced and Directed by David Byrd in December 2003. Enjoy!

Night of Silence / Silent Night – Gonzaga University Choirs:

Timothy Westerhaus, Gonzaga University Choirs, Night of Silence / Silent Night, composed by Daniel Kantor, Candlelight Christmas Concert 201