Tuesday, December 3, 2013

St Mary's Catholic School, Rotorua, Nativity float in the Christmas Parade.

Principal David Macmillan arrives early at 9.30am to make sure they are near the front of the parade.

The Star of Wonder  stands out beckoning people towards it.

Float with ivy, hay bales and palms. It was  very natural looking . Even the truck was painted green. 

Great, visible sign, Happy and Holy Christmas, reminding everyone about the spiritual component, (as opposed to commercial) of Christmas.

Dave with high vis vest, to make sure that all the children were safe and accounted for.

 The star of the show is the cute donkey, who enjoyed being loved. He had been especially groomed and washed for the event and his fur felt soft and tickly.

The owners have a donkey rescuing farm in the Mamaku's
They bring their donkey into town for Easter and Christmas celebrations to St Mary's School.

All the children love the donkey  

 The  angel outfits were beautiful and not everyone kept to the traditional white. 

The donkey  was very patient, quite docile and gentle

You need to just watch out that when you feed it.  You use a flat hand and you keep out of the way of being stepped on by hooves,

 Orla Walsh was a lovely Mary and her mother Paulene was a beautiful angel.

Paulene had helped to decorate the float with ivy the day before and was great at organising children onto the float.

Mother (and Father)  helpers are essential during these events to make last minute adjustments to costumes, help build stables, drive trucks, apply admiration, encouragement and...


 Orla (Mother Mary) surrounded by lots of cute  angels

and standing beside Joseph while holding baby Jesus

I was trying to get a good shot of Orla with the donkey but it wasn't all that co-operative and there were so many children surrounding it


I love angels, they all looked beautiful

Halo's on angels were cute. 

Even the donkey looked like it was wearing a halo   

 Wise man  shone out royally in purple.

 Love the crown and rich looking robes.
I'd  like a crown like that, I wonder if he made it.

Caring shepherds.   
This attitude shows the spirit of Christmas.

  These boys were happy to pose for photos.
All the children really enjoyed being part of the Christmas parade.  

Saint Mary's School take part every second year. 

   All the parents coming along on the  walk, being part of the parade, had to be in costume.

 There were so many angels, shepherds and wise men that there was not enough room to fit them all on the float, so some had to walk beside the donkey.

 Pretty soon

they were off  

 The end of my shots as I ran out of battery power. 

I only stayed for the beginning.   

There were also lots of other colourful, inventive stands and practically everyone was giving out lollies and lolly pops to the crowd. 

Saint Mary's Catholic School gained third place in the competition, congratulations. 
Everyone had great fun, it's was a fantastic example of creativity. 

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.
Calvin Coolidge

Drive past at night time to see my colourful light display in the front of my garden.
I am still working out how to photograph it so I can post some photos up. 
374 Clayton Road, Rotorua. 

Christmas Tip and best wishes. 
If you are feeling stressed  out, unhappy or grumpy perhaps you could take some time out to decorate something.
 Even if it's only a small tree or the top of your paper work laden desk.
You will be amazed at how much better you will feel by switching over to the right hand side of your brain for a half an hour or so. 

Go to Bunnings and buy some inexpensive solar lights and hang them in amongst your roses and flowers at the entrance to your house
Walking around your garden at night, looking at the twinkling will give you a lift.

You are so special, you are loved and you deserve to feel blessed. 
You have just about made it through another year with all its trials and challeges and you have done well. 

This is the first year I have made a big effort with Christmas lights and it's incredible how happy I feel.
 I wish I could leave them up all year. 

Gift Vouchers for Creativity Classes in Mosaics and Painting, starting from $25.00 per person per hour. 
Phone 346-3435 or email jkeen@clear.net.nz to place your orders. 

Christmas Embellishment By Janet Keen. 
This is the story I wrote for this weeks Daily Post Weekender. I'm not sure if they can fit it in as they are tight for space this week.   We will know by Thursday. I am crossing my fingers and toes. 
 Here it is anyway for all of you who dont live in Rotorua.... 
They found the space to publish it..yay hooray for donkey power. 

Christmas Embellishment by Janet Keen, Creativity Queen.
I was shopping for a rambling rose called White Wedding at Palmers Garden World when I ran into Principal of St Mary’s School Dave Macmillan with a trolley containing a couple of giant palms which he was intending to add to his Nativity float.

I’d forgotten all about the Christmas parade because I have been flat out embellishing my garden with extra mosaic flowers, reindeer and Christmas lights.

When he told me he had a real donkey and the children would be dressed up as angels, wise men and shepherds I couldn’t resist the urge to go down and capture some spiritual moments.

The organisers from St Mary’s made sure they were there a couple of hours early so they could get a prime spot at the front of the parade.  I took some initial shots of the rustic, ivy covered and hay bale surrounded manger and then went away for a cup of coffee and a brief Christmas shopping splurge. I managed to buy more for my Christmas tree than anyone else.

I had to have some gorgeous little owl and bird decorations in Living Colour Designer gifts and Flowers in Eruera Street and decided to steal Nina Healey’s idea, (after asking permission) of painting some dead branches white, instead of cutting down a real pine tree. This process along with making some home made mirror and bead  decorations, will be featured in my Do it Yourself Craft section in this Saturdays Daily Post.

I arrived back to the Christmas float area at 11.30am and the donkey was the compelling magnet. How sweet, gentle, and well behaved he was, coping with the crowds of children around him in the hot sun, feeding him clumps of grass.

Stroking his soft grey and white perfectly groomed and clean fur and looking into his soulful brown eyes was a  beautiful moment.

All the children and dressed up mother and father helpers looked fabulous. I have  

featured the story of  it on my blog at janet keen.blogspot.com

St Mary’s School won third place for their float. Congratulations to everyone for such a creative team effort. Embellishing things at Christmas time and patting furry animals really uplifts your mood; so give it a go.

Mosaic and painting class gift vouchers available.  Morning and afternoon mosaic and painting school holiday classes.  Ring Janet Keen on 346-3435, or  email me at  jkeen@clear.net.nz  for details.

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