Merry Xmas

10868227_10205347339781455_6467688353596774000_n

Christmas is a time to cheer, a time to give, a time to dance, a time for peace, a time to rejoice,a time to be kind, a time to love and reflect on what is important, a time for family and yes, a time for presents and no ugly sweaters or fruit cake. From me to you and yours, Merry Christmas. May your day be filled with happiness, joy, and yes, lots of laughter.

Christmas 361 Days

IMG_4029

I and a couple of friends visited Warren, a suburb of Detroit, back in July for one of our choir member’s wedding and decided to mix business with pleasure. We had never been to Michigan and since we were there, decided to explore. I mean, don’t never say never but where are the chances of I landing in Warren, MI?! Although, this is where the GM headquarters is located, it was not on my bucket list but since I don’t like to leave anything to chances, I had a “what heck” moment, did the hoola hoola dance, hop on the plane with the rest of the crew and there we were in Detroit tramping our way to Warren.

IMG_4051

It was a gray July day, summer was in full bloom but it felt more like Spring. There was not a cloud in the sky as we headed out, loaded with all the GPS’s our phones could provide in search of a little town in the middle of Michigan. All I heard is that it was located somewhere after Flint and it would take approximately a hour and half and if we play our cards right, we would be back in time for the rehearsal.

IMG_4052

I have never heard of Frankenmuth, Michigan then again I was not familiar with many Michigan cities and towns in besides Ann Harbor, Flint and Detroit. I din’t, then again I haven’t adventured much in the midwest direction anyway, so it is understandable. It certainly wasn’t on mine or the others’ radar but one of the ladies. I was on my way to the Motown museum until she suggested we do the town first, to learn later that it was 4th of July and the museum would be closed. Oh well, there. One more reason to pay Detroit a visit again.

IMG_4065

It was gray and cloudy, it been raining a little, when we arrived in Frankenmuth, a little of town located within Frankenmuth Township, population four thousand plus. The town was formed back in 1845 by conservative Lutheran settlers from Bavaria, Germany. It is an exciting little town with visitors hovering around every corner. The main street embraces Bavarian culture. It is filled with crafty little stores, restaurants, carriages everywhere… it exurbs German hospitality. It hosts many festivals and is home to the world’s largest Christmass, Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland.

IMG_4070

Yeah, it was Christmas in July alright because it was raining christmas. Christmas ornaments, Santas, collectibles, christmas trees, christmas signs, Silent Night Chapel, christmas up, christmas down, christmas rolling, you name it, it was all and more in a bag of chips packaged in one little junction. It left me at hello!

IMG_4071

The Nativity is in display 24 hrs 361 days of the year. I found it magic and went running like a kid in a candy store snapping pictures here and there, jumping up and down like a squirrel. We spent so much time in the town that we found ourselves negotiating with time, driving like maniacs as we were running late to the final wedding rehearsal and the dinner that followed. I am happy to say that we were, hummm, just a few minutes late. Not too chubby considering that we were not the only ones.

IMG_4081

What other occasion then today to share the store with you? Enjoy it and if you are up that way, just stop by. You will love it.

IMG_4083

IMG_4084

THE STORE

IMG_4075

IMG_4078

IMG_4079

SILENT NIGHT CHAPEL 

IMG_4092IMG_4095

It was being repaired when we visited

IMG_4096

IMG_4101

A little history on Silent Night as you walk in

IMG_4110

Inside the building. Translation please!

IMG_4118

I think I was dancing my way out of the chapel because I really don’t know what I was doing.

IMG_4090

Christmas Season, Week One

Christmas season is a time for joy, a time to give, a time for share, a time to rejoice and be merry, a time to service. It is one of the busiest and more enjoyable time for me as I am everywhere volunteering, serving and spending time with those who need, the less fortunate. It is festive, joyful. The tree decorating and lighting, shopping craze, giving and exchanging… I never get tired of it. This year hasn’t been any different. It has been all about luncheons, dinners, breakfasts, food, drinks, caroling, music, games, presents and more. It has been fun, spiritual and fulfilling. I could not have scripted it better.

NEW HORIZONS, December 9

A church ministry for the elderly. They get together once a month just to mingle, socialize and have fun. This was their Christmas soiree, we were there to make sure everything run perfect and jolly for them.

IMG_7100

IMG_7112

IMG_7151

IMG_7161

IMG_7168

IMG_7210

EPWORTH VILLAGE RETIREMENTDecember 13

non-profit living facility with more then 200 wonderful people stuck in the middle of the city. The room was empty when we arrived but slowly they began to pour in, some had to be wheeled up, others in the wheelchairs, walkers and others on their own two feet. We were after all in a retirement home. They were happy and appreciated us being there with some joining us by singing and clapping. It was fun atmosphere and I look forward to the next year.

20141213_145627

20141213_145804

20141213_150005 (1)

CAMILLUS HOUSE, December 18

We made our annual pilgrimage to serenade the homeless in downtown Miami. We have emancipated from singing on the street under a bridge to the new Camillus House building, a Christian organization that provides hospitality and respect for life through direct services of food, clothing and shelter to the needy. Personally, I was looking forward to this occasion as it was my first time in the building since it was inaugurated three years ago. I always look forward to this day. Love it!

IMG_7509

IMG_7537

IMG_7512

IMG_7532

IMG_7528

IMG_7531