Thursday, December 23, 2021

The First Noel

Well hello friends.
Only 2 more days left until Christmas.
This will be my last post for the year.

As we approach the final days
before Christmas, we all must remember
the reason for this season.


Therefore it is only fitting to feature
the nativity and all of the angels

I decided to have all of these pics shown at night.
I remember always going to Midnight mass
once I was a teen with my family.
Whether we attended our own church at home,
or the one my grandparents attended.
Both maternal and paternal grandparents attended
the same church.
It was where my parents met.
{or I should say they met at the old church}

The churches were always decorated so festive.
With trees and candles lit.
Poinsettias everywhere.
The choir singing the old carols 
and the ringing of the bells were my favorite.

It was even more magical if it was snowing outside
when mass was over. 

The stained glass windows at my
grandparents church were amazing.
When the lights shone on them,
they sparkled even more.

The original church 
where my parents met and married in
was built on a hill.
Unfortunately it burned down the year I was born.
My mom always told me it was a little white church,
which this particular ornament reminded me of.
It was surrounded by pine trees and also
the cemetery was next to it.
My paternal great grandparents,
paternal grandparents,
great aunts and uncles.
My dad and his brother (my uncle and aunt)
all are buried here in the family plot.
I would also like to be buried there one day.

I remember visiting the cemetery before
my grandparents farm was destroyed by an arson.
In the cemetery looking South, you could 
see their barns, and farmhouse way in the back.
The farm had been sold long before this
horrific act happened.

It is hard to put into words the feeling I have
while on that hill.

The pine trees have been there since the beginning.
Tall and massive.
Where the church was, now a statue stands
in the one section.
I have seen pictures of the old church.
It reminds me of the old New England churches.
White clapboard.
Small but mighty. 

I always wondered what it would have looked
 like inside during Christmas.
No electricity; only candles.
With the aroma of festive greens on the altar
and live wreaths on the wall with their satin ribbon bows.
Oh how I wish I could have been there for at least
one Christmas mass. 

The cemetery is about 5 miles West
 of the town my mom lives in.
When you are at the road,
and look towards the East, you can see 
Lake Huron.
One of our mighty great blue lakes.
Only farmland surrounds the area.
Who knows if progress will change 
the landscape in another 100 years,
but for now, it is a perfect resting spot. 

Although I currently live a little over an hour 
to the South in the next county,
when driving to my mom's
I always feel like I am going home as soon
as I see that sign...
entering Sanilac County.

This time of year is always a bit hard on me.
We buried my dad on Christmas Eve morn.
It's been 28 years now, but still hurts. 

As I stated earlier, this is my last post of the year.
Am taking some time off, both at work,
and from blogging.
I need to re-charge. LOL
I will be back in a few weeks.
I hope all of my friends enjoy your holidays!
Will try and visit my blog friends
and comment when I can.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Let's hope 2022 goes much better.
We thought 2021 would be.

The First Noel Blessings To All!


  1. What a lovely story of a little country church. Yes, they are not part of our culture any more. Mega churces arise....(sad face). Oh, the feeling of community that must have been present and those Christmas Eve services - all enjoying the presence of HIM who the season is about. Merry Christmas! Looking forward to a recharge myself....

  2. I love reading about your memories of where you grew up and where your family and relatives are buried. I remember Midnight masses and the peacefulness and hope and expectation. I still remember the little prayer that my mom taught me that I prayed during Advent until Christmas. Sweet Infant Jesus of Bethlehem, tat I love and adore, come be born in my heart. I would recite that prayer 100 times every night before going to bed and I would make my four marks and a strike to keep tab on how many prayers I prayed.

    Your angels and that little church looks so beautiful.

    Take care and enjoy some time with family.
    Merry Christmas.
    Hugs, Julia

  3. Have a Very Merry Christmas & a Happy , Healthy New Year ! Enjoy a nice relaxing break after all the hustle & bustle !

  4. It has been about that much time with my dad, too -- and it's still tough in December. I love your beautiful ornaments -- that blue ball with the church especially. I loved hearing about your childhood times. Things were indeed different then, when churches were smaller and so very warm. I send you both all good wishes for Christmas and a beautiful holiday season and see you when you return!

  5. Oh Janice, such a beautiful post. I can close my eyes and still remember the smell of my childhood church on Christmas and how beautifully it was decorated. It was a tiny country church, but so lovely. It was especially beautiful at night, which is why we had our wedding at 6:30 p.m. in March (39 years ago!) so we could have a candlelit service. Christmas is tough for me as mom passed four years ago on Christmas Day. Hugs to you, Merry Christmas and enjoy your break. See you you when you are rested & recharged. Jane

  6. Enjoyed your beautiful angelic photos and memories. Yet nothing ruins a holiday more than a death or burial just before it. Am hoping in the future you will think of Christmas and remember the aroma in the church, the candles, the snow falling and remembering the sign :entering Sanilac County". Merry Christmas sweet woman and looking forward to you charged up after the rest.

  7. I enjoyed this post. I too have special memories of my time with family.. as we remember that pain comes back as well, of saying good bye. My grandpa passed December 5th, 2005..he was my best friend. I always miss his fun antics during Christmas.

    Thank you for this heartfelt post. Merry Christmas, Carla

  8. Thanks for sharing Janice! Your photos are sweet. Christmas sure brings sad remembrances of loved ones (and loved landmarks) gone, doesn’t it? Have a good rest.

  9. What a beautiful vignette. You have such wonderful memories. You are very lucky!!!
    Merry Christmas to you, Bob and the furkids.

  10. Perfect...your memories, the description of the sweet church, and your nativity. A fitting blog post for this time of year. Thanks for sharing your holidays with us. Have a wonderful rest and a lovely Christmas. Mary

  11. Merry, Merry, Christmas Janice (and Bob, Ace, Shadow and Tundra!!) Very beautiful and calming post. I know the pain of losing someone on a father died on an Easter morning... The holiday is never the same for those left behind no matter the number of intervening years. The church sounds so beautiful. I have fond memories of the (very) small (very country) church we attended when I was growing up. It was very, very, simple - no stained glass windows, no midnight services - but the Christmas Eve service held a heavenly magic all it's own. Enjoy your recharge time... Will be thinking of you. ~Robin~

  12. Janice, I loved the photos and the story. I could almost see the road and the little white church in the distance. My grandparents married in a little church like that. A neighbor painted a picture of it for me and painted all the electrical wires out!! When our daughter got married we wanted to have her wedding in the same church but it was too small. This is the day after Christmas and a light snow is falling outside. It was forecasted for Christmas Day which would have been special but today is good enough. Enjoy your time off and Happy New Year my friend..xxoJudy

  13. What a heart touching post! I love reading our memories of your family, the church and the farm. Enjoy your break, hope to see you back soon! Here wishing that you have a wonderful year ahead with all good and happy things!

  14. Such sweet and heart warming memories with your post! Here wishing that you have a wonderful year ahead with all good and happy things!


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