O Holy Night


If you prefer a more upbeat version, Keeping Stock has one.

If you’re wondering what it’s all about Jim Hopkins writes ‘Tis the season to be a believer.

Words of the day






May your Christmas be happy & may 2011 be kind to you and yours.

On Being A Star


I don’t remember where I found this nor do I know who wrote it.

But the words helped me the first Christmas after my son died and I offer it in the hope they might help someone else.

On Being A Star

There are                                                

hundreds of stars 

New ones                                                

each day                                                   

and all of them                                       

lead to                                                     

the manger   

We begin                                                

small and                                                


like a                                                        

little piece                                               

of clay                                                     

but we grow 

The potter                                               

works at                                                 

the wheel      

The potter                                               

wants us to                                              

become stars        

We become stars                                     

by following stars   

In the eyes                                              

of those                                                    

who cannot see                                       

you are a fool                                           

to follow                                                   

any star

But for those                                                 



you are wise

The potter works                                       

at the wheel

The potter too                                          

is a star                                                    

But we aren’t

used to stars                                      

like that

We aren’t used                                   

to stars who                                        

are born                                             

in a stable                               

and hung                                           

on a cross

We aren’t used                                  

to stars                                            

who proposed                                    

things that                                        

don’t make sense                               


losing your life                         

and turning                                      

the other cheek                                 

and being poor                                  

for the sake                                    

of some kingdom                             

out there

I hope a star                                  

comes out                                       

for  you                                          

on Christmas Day

A new one                                     

and one                                  

you’ve never                                  

seen before

I hope it’s bright                             

and kind

And shines down


and long                                     

and well

To help you see                           

the things                                   

you’ve never seen before             

Allow yourself

to see

and you are



poured into

a Christmas-form

It takes

a long time

longer than

any season

Being born

is not easy

but it’s good

Bless me


with your birth

It heals the

scared in me.

Vision upon


and of  His


we have all


Why else       

did He come


to be a star                             

a gift  


to heal

the scared

in us

To light our path

To help you see

the things

you really

need to see

I hope

it touches

you with


and runs


beside you

all year long

Oh, how I hope

it comes






in your life

And when

the year

is through

Well, just because

it’s you

I hope

this star


shining on

 in you.

Because you see

 you are


I’d like to give

a star.


If you need more inspiration, you’ll find it in No Vacancy (A Christmas Story) at Bowalley Road.

Friday’s answers


Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who preached what is regarded as New Zealand’s first Christmas Day service?

2. Where did he preach it?

3. Who wrote:  “It was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!”

4. What was Mary & Joseph’s home town?

5. What’s your favourite Christmas carol or song?

Points for answers:

Andrei and Ray got four and a bonus for the music.

Rob got 4 with a 1/2 for #2

Deborah got 4 with a 1/2 for #2 and a bonus for extra information which wins her an electronic bunch of lillies (or roses if the lillies cause hayfever).

Adam got one and a bonus for Bah! Humbug!

To all of you and other regular answerers a sprig of mistletoe (the native one) and my thanks for dropping by.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

Flying pig alert


Next year:

I won’t wait until three days before Christmas to send Whitestone Cheese gift boxes and find the courier can’t guarantee they’ll be delivered by today.

I won’t wait until Christmas Eve to post gifts to my nieces in Australia, a calendar to my cousin in Scotland and cards to people all over the world.

I won’t leave it to my farmer even if he says he’s got staff gifts covered.

I will know where the bucket and stones needed to keep the Christmas tree upright are.

I won’t leave the tree my farmer cut propped on a box in the living room for 12 days before decorating it.

I will remember about the cake I always bake to give a friend so I don’t have to make it on Christmas Eve.

I will not only be organised I will be organised early.

Creditors show compassion


Contractors whose workers died in the Pike River mine will be paid.

Pike River Coal receiver PricewaterhouseCoopers today announced it would be making payments to the contractors who lost employees in the disaster that killed 29 men last month.

The company’s partners John Fisk, David Bridgman and Malcolm Hollis said they had reached an agreement with secured creditors to make the payments, which would cover the contractors’ labour costs.

There is no legal requirement for the secured creditors to do this and it could be argued not even a moral one when they are first in line for any payment.

This is not an act of obligation but one of generosity and compassion which might help make Christmas a little happier for those who have lost so much.

December 24 in history


On December 24:

1754 George Crabbe, British poet and naturalist, was born  (d. 1832).

1777  Kiritimati, (Christmas Island) was discovered by James Cook.

1814  The Treaty of Ghent was signed ending the War of 1812.


1822 Matthew Arnold, British poet, was born (d. 1888).


1865  Several U.S. Civil War Confederate veterans formed the Ku Klux Klan.


1880  Johnny Gruelle, American cartoonist, children’s book writer and creator of Raggedy Ann was born (d. 1888 1938).

1893  Harry Warren, American composer and lyricist (Chattanooga Choo Choo – I Only Have Eyes for You), was born (d. 1981).

1905 Howard Hughes, American film producer and inventor, was born (d. 1976).

1906  Reginald Fessenden transmitted the first radio broadcast; consisting of a poetry reading, a violin solo, and a speech.

1914  World War I: The “Christmas truce” began.

 British and German troops meeting in No man’s land during the unofficial truce.

1922 Ava Gardner, American actress, was born (d. 1990).

1923 George Patton IV, American general, was born (d. 2004).

George Patton IV DF-ST-84-01686.JPEG

1924  Albania became a republic.

1927  Mary Higgins Clark, American author, was born.

1941  World War II: Hong Kong fell to the Japanese Imperial Army.

1943 General Dwight D. Eisenhower became Supreme Allied Commander.

1946  France‘s Fourth Republic was founded.

Flag Coat of arms

1948 Frank Oliver, New Zealand rugby player, was born.

1951 Libya became independent from Italy. Idris I was proclaimed King.

1953 Tangiwai railway disaster – The worst railway disaster in New Zealand’s history occurred on Christmas Eve 1953 when the Wellington-Auckland night express plunged into the flooded Whangaehu River, just west of Tangiwai in the central North Island. The accident happened after a railway bridge was destroyed by a lahar.

Tangiwai railway disaster

1955  NORAD Tracked Santa for the first time in what will become an annual Christmas Eve tradition.

1957 Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan, was born.
1961 Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, was born.
1968 The crew of Apollo 8 entered into orbit around the Moon, becoming the first humans to do so. They performed 10 lunar orbits and broadcast live TV pictures that became the famous Christmas Eve Broadcast, one of the most watched programs in history.
Ed Miliband, leader of the British Labour Party, was born.

1974  Cyclone Tracy devastated Darwin.


1979 – The first European Ariane rocket was launched.

1997 – The Sid El-Antri massacre (or Sidi Lamri) in Algeria killed 50-100 people.

2000 – The Texas 7 held up a sports store in Irving, Texas,  Police officer Aubrey Hawkins was murdered during the robbery.

2003 – Spanish police thwarted an attempt by ETA to detonate 50 kg of explosives at 3:55 p.m. inside Madrid’s Chamartín Station.

 Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

%d bloggers like this: