1 year ago


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28 x December 15, 2016 - January 4, 2017 x CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27 She turned to Charlotte and said, “Would you like to come stay in my house? We have plenty of room.” Charlotte and her children were overjoyed after hearing the offer, and after seeing the happiness in her children’s faces, Charlotte accepted. That day, Charlotte, Thomas, Mary and Rose went to live with Cassandra. A few weeks later, it was Christmas. The chefs were very busy preparing a large Christmas dinner for the many people living in Cassandra’s house. Inviting Charlotte and her children to live with her made Cassandra feel happy, so she continued searching for poor families in town, offering them rides in her carriage and a nice place to live at her house. By Christmas, the house was full of men, women and children who were grateful for Cassandra’s kindness. All of the people Cassandra had helped were in warm spirits. Adults were sitting by the fire, talking; children were merrily playing; and everyone was greatly anticipating the meal that was yet to come. The happiest person in the room was Cassandra. She was filled with joy at the sight of the people’s happy faces. Cassandra worked for the rest of her life to seek out people who needed help and give them places to stay and food to eat. Her home became known as The Carriage House, and people were always welcome to come in and stay for as long as they needed. Honorable Mention What Christmas Means to Me by Emily Meena Westover Club Ding! Oh, the delicious gingerbread cookies I’d been awaiting all season were ready to come out of the oven! I opened the oven and grinned as the mouthwatering scents of cinnamon and spices wafted into my nose. I pulled the long tray out of the oven and set it on the granite counter. I grazed my hands over the warm cookies, picked the perfect one, and popped the chewy goodness into my watering mouth. Christmas means many things to me. I love the holiday festivities and celebrations. Christmas means spending time with family, dong classic Christmas traditions — like decorating the tree, of course! — and giving to others. Spending time with family is a great way to create everlasting memories. I enjoy chattering about the true meaning of Christmas, a baby born to save the world, instead of worrying about if I’m going to receive the item I’ve been waiting for all year long. My family eats a feast Christmas night with refreshing sparkling cider, tender turkey, buttery rolls and freshly mashed potatoes. I like reading Christmas stories with them and excitedly waiting all season to have fun Christmas Day. We have a blast searching all over town to find the perfect tree, not too skinny or tall, with just the right number of branches to hang all our meaningful ornaments. Celebrating classic holiday traditions, like baking Christmas cookies and hanging sparkling lights outside to make our house glow, really help enhance the swollen excitement of the holiday season. Decorating our Christmas tree is one of my favorite things, carefully hanging delicate ornaments and stringing lights on the tall branches while listening to cheery Christmas music. It’s just a great way to bond with family. I love wrapping presents for others, using decorative wrapping paper, and placing the presents under the tree. Baking gingerbread and buttery shortbread cookies is definitely one of the best things to do during the busy holiday season. I like to decorate them with small, colorful sprinkles and use cookie cutters to mold them into festive shapes like angels, reindeer, bells, etc. After that, giving to others is a joyful thing. It produces a happy bond between you and the receiver. We give to celebrate how God sent His son so we could be saved and have eternal life with Him in heaven. I love seeing people open gifts I gave them and wearing a smile on their faces as they tear it open. When you give to others, it creates warm feelings all around. Plus, ripping open a delicately wrapped present and getting what you’ve always wanted is sure to bring a smile to your face. To sum it all up, Christmas has many heartfelt meanings. The music, exchanging of gifts, gobbling down a well-prepared feast — it’s all great, but it’s the holiday’s real meaning, Jesus, that is the joy of the Christmas season. Thank you for voting us Best Insurance Agency in Southwest Orlando. It is a privilege serving our friends and neighbors! Jim & Dee Brandt, Owners 407.781.1600 • In the BB&T Bank Building, at Sand Lake and Turkey Lake Best Of 2016 • Southwest home • auto • business • health • life • workers comp • watercraft • flood Representing Florida’s most prestigious insurance carriers. W I N N E R

Honorable Mention Hanukkahistmas by Kadance Jablon Wintermere Harbor Meet Hunter. Hunter is an outgoing Christian boy. He loves to pray with his family and go to church. It was the week before Christmas, and Hunter was excited. He loved seeing relatives, opening presents and praising his Lord and savior. Hunter noticed there were no Christmas decorations in school. He asked Ms. Hansford, his teacher, “Where are all the Christmas decorations?” “Not everyone celebrates Christmas, Hunter,” a boy named Joseph interrupted. “So, what do you celebrate?” asked Hunter, suddenly feeling threatened. “Hanukkah,” Joseph replied. “Oh, that holiday they copied off of Christianity?” Hunter asked. “Actually, Judaism was first, so the Christians copied us,” Joseph said confidently, while giving Hunter a death glare. Joseph was the shy Jewish boy in Hunter’s class. He was just as excited for Hanukkah as Hunter was about Christmas, except Joseph always felt left out. He was the only kid in class who celebrated Hanukkah. x December 15, 2016 - January 4, 2017 x 29 Ms. Hansford pulled the boys away from each other. “Boys! This won’t be tolerated at our school. Go to detention, and think about what you have done.” The boys sat in detention without saying a word. All of a sudden, a blast of wind brushed Joseph’s face, and a golden door appeared out of nowhere. A man came through the door. He was wearing an old cloak and had a brown goatee. The mysterious man said nothing, but guided his hand toward the door, wanting the boys to go through. Without thinking, they went. “Have fun in Israel,” the man said, closing the door behind the boys. Then the boys fell and landed in sand. “Hunter, do you know where we are?” Joseph questioned happily. Not waiting for Hunter to answer, Joseph pointed at a temple and told the story of how Hanukkah began. “There was a Jewish group called the Maccabees. They were on a journey to take back the temple from Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Syrian Greek leader. Sadly, after they got to the temple, there was only enough oil to light the building for one day. Then there was a miracle. The oil lit the entire temple for eight days. The Maccabees gained confidence and defeated Antiochus IV Epiphanes.” “Wow, that is a miracle!” Hunter exclaimed in awe. Then, all of a sudden, the golden door popped up again, and the mysterious wind pushed them into the door, which led them to Bethlehem. In the city of Bethlehem, it was a warm and silent night. The boys saw a wooden stable, and Hunter knew exactly what it was. “This is where Jesus was born!” he exclaimed excitedly. “If this is where Jesus was born, then why is it so warm?” Joseph asked. “Isn’t Christmas in December?” “Jesus was born in June, but we celebrate in December,” Hunter said. “It’s like Christians are celebrating Jesus’ halfbirthday. December is six months after June.” “Wow, I never knew that,” Joseph said. The boys watched the Virgin Mary show baby Jesus to the town. The golden door appeared, and the man in the old cloak showed up. “Did you boys learn your lesson?” he asked. The boys explained to the man how it was not nice to judge someone based on his or her religion or background. They learned that other religions may not be that bad. “Boys, boys!” It was Ms. Hansford, trying to wake them up. “You better have learned your lesson. I heard you’ve been asleep most of the time. The boys became friends after their journey. They even shared winter break together. They also celebrated with their families. You may be wondering what holiday they decided to celebrate. Well, they celebrated their own holiday, Hanukkahistmas. Honorable Mention What Christmas Means to Me by Caden Collins Lake Butler Sound Yay! Christmas is here! On Christmas, my family opens their presents first thing in the morning while listening to Christmas music. We stay at home on Christmas. CONTINUED ON PAGE 30 New Provider Sarkis Barupian, MD I’m proud to announce I’m joining the WellMed Network. Together, we’re helping senior patients live longer. I’m now accepting new patients with Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans from the following health plan carriers: UnitedHealthcare, WellCare, Freedom and Optimum. Call today to meet our doctors and take a tour of our clinic. This is an advertisement. WellMed does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in its health programs and activities. ATTENTION: If you speak English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Please call 888-781-WELL (9355). ATENCIÓN: Si habla español (Spanish), hay servicios de asistencia de idiomas, sin cargo, a su disposición. Llame al 888-781-WELL (9355). (Chinese)888-781-WELL (9355). 16_0756_AD_FLBARUPIANPROMO_C071316 Orlando, FL 32819 For more information, call: 407.351.1235 | WellMed at Southwest Orlando 5979 Vineland Rd., Ste. 208,