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Concordia Blog - 2013

New Year's Resolution Ideas for Seniors

December 31, 2013
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Are you one of the many people who loves to make resolutions for the New Year? Resolving to better yourself in the coming months is a wonderful concept - the tough part is sticking to it!

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year... Joyeux Noël et Bonne Annèe!

December 25, 2013
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Today's post was written by Concordia Chaplain Rev. Patrick Runk. Concordia's Chaplaincy Department actively contributes to our residents' well being, especially around this time of year. Enjoy!

As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, let us reflect upon the enjoyment of this holiday season in another part of the world.

Pastor Runk Rev. Patrick Runk

In the southern part of France, amidst the countryside of wine vineyards, small towns with their bakeries and family owned clothing shops, the gray December days of winter become magically transformed by beautiful colors as Christmas approaches. Homes with roofs covered in snow, snowmen in the yards.... it's roads and shops decorated with bright colors and sparkling lights....it's the hot chestnut seller in the streets....it's the inside of houses decorated with bright colors, holly, ivy, Christmas trees, garlands, candles... it's a nice fire in the hearth, lots of gaily, colored presents under the Christmas tree, and a table laden with lots of lovely things to eat...!

The towns in southern France burst into color with lights and decorated Christmas trees before that special day in December. Schools are decorated and have Christmas events for their students and parents to enjoy together.

In each town, residents contribute to the decorations of the town streets to provide a festive atmosphere. These are handmade decorations of stars, snow flakes, candles, crowns, holiday symbols and messages, and the hanging of multicolored lights. By day, you don't see a lot, but when it's twilight, the streets and towns light up and come to life.

All of a sudden, the town changes, hundreds of lights envelop its streets. Even the bare branches of the trees are decorated with lights of all sorts of colors! Shop windows are transformed where each shop presents a Christmas theme featuring its products and decorations. Little shops decorate their windows (vitrines) in a simple way.

Sometimes towns and villages hold competitions to choose the best decorated shop window. There are miniature scenes of snowy forests, frozen lakes with ice skaters; snowy mountains with skiers; the Three Kings traveling to Bethlehem; the manger with Baby Jesus. Even the owners of houses do their part towards the Christmas decorations. For example, folks have a tradition of constructing window boxes, outside of their windows, over time, consisting of full, brightly colored flowers and geraniums which trail from one window to another and from floor to floor during the summer months.

At Christmas, the flowers are replaced with branches, and colored lights, baubles, garlands and other decorations. Inside their homes, the children put their shoes by the fireplace to be filled with gifts and candies, toys, to be found when they awake on Christmas morning. Families have a tradition of placing nativity scenes on low, constructed French armoires, in their living or dining rooms, consisting of small, clay figurines called 'santons' or 'little saints.' These figures are made by the local craftsmen where the 'santons' are made from a clay mold and hand painted.

On the twelfth day of December, there is a custom in French families to bake a Three Kings Cake where the chef places a bean inside of the cake while it is baking. As families enjoy this wonderful dessert together, later in the evening, the who finds the bean in their slice of the cake is considered the King or Queen for the day. On Christmas Eve, dinner starts after the midnight mass called "reveillon" which means Midnight supper. The menu for the feast depends on varied, culinary traditions based also on location of where you reside in France.

In a town called Alsaec, it's goose or duck liver, in Burgundy it's turkey with chestnuts; other locations might serve oyster with pat de foie gras. Other dishes served are smoked salmon, ham, lobster, salads and much more. For the desserts they have cheese, cakes of different flavors, 'La Buche de No

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Concordia Residents Share Favorite Christmas Memories

December 24, 2013
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It's the most wonderful time of the year! Hopefully, you've made some great memories during the Christmas season. As you can imagine, many of our our residents have experienced quite a few Christmas seasons, so we decided to ask a few of them what their favorite memories were, and share them with you today. Hopefully they bring you a smile.

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Concordia's First Live Nativity a Success

December 17, 2013
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As an organization rooted in faith, spreading the Good News of the Christmas season is something that we've tried to do in subtle ways - a gift for a child in need, a smile or hug to a person suffering, donations to a number of local missions/charities and more. This year, however, we decided to be a bit more... pronounced.

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Concordia at Sumner Couple Shares Collection of Nativity Scenes

December 10, 2013
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Below is a story published in a previous issue of Faith in Caring magazine about a couple at Concordia at Sumner who collect Nativity sets from around the world. To be added to the mailing list or e-mail distribution list, e-mail us here or call the Concordia Public Relations Department at 724.352.1571, ext. 8266. Enjoy, and feel free to leave a comment below!

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Concordia to Host Two Events This December

December 3, 2013
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December is always a fun time at Concordia, with the decorations, the Advent services, the gift-giving parties from our Adopt-A-Resident program and so much more. And next week we kick it into high gear with a few events and activities. As usual, we would love it if you could join us, as both events are free and open to the public! :)

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Concordia Calendar Portraits: Fox Chapel (November)

November 26, 2013
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The theme of the 2013 Concordia Lutheran Ministries calendar is "Faithful Caring Our Way of Life," and each month offers a picture of a resident/patient with one of our dedicated caregivers. We thought it would be fun to tell the stories behind the models, in a series we're calling Concordia Calendar Portraits.

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Concordia Family Remembers President Kennedy's Final Day

November 22, 2013
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"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - John F. Kennedy There are very few moments in our lifetime when we can remember exactly where we were and what we were thinking for most people who experienced Nov. 22, 1963, that was one of those days. As most Americans know, today is the 50th anniversary of our 35th President John F. Kennedy being assassinated.

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National Family Caregivers Month: Caring for an Ailing Spouse (part 4)

November 19, 2013
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November is National Family Caregivers Month, which honors the 48.9 million caregivers (according to the National Alliance for Caregiving) who help care for an aging loved one. At Concordia, we know the complexities of caring for someone with a chronic condition or disability, and we hope you all know that we're here for you for advice, for assistance, for support?

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National Family Caregivers Month: Caring for an Ailing Spouse (part 3)

November 14, 2013
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November is National Family Caregivers Month, which honors the 48.9 million caregivers (according to the National Alliance for Caregiving) who help care for an aging loved one. At Concordia, we know the complexities of caring for someone with a chronic condition or disability, and we hope you all know that we're here for you for advice, for assistance, for support?

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