Festive Season Over 50s Lifestyle

The Six F’s of Christmas – Guest post – Shirley Corder

December 14, 2017
The Six F's of Christmas

The Six F's of Christmas

Over the last few posts I’ve been discussing the Festive Season and what is means to us.  I asked some of my blogging friends to share their thoughts when I asked them: What does the Festive Season Mean to You?  Family was the main theme with each of their answers and I’d love you to read the post and what each had to say.

My guest, today is Shirley Corder who I met through a blogging Facebook group.  Shirley is a published author, who has survived cancer and lives in South Africa.  We clicked immediately and she has been very supportive of Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond.  You can read more about Shirley and connect with her via her details at the end of this post.

In answer to my question ‘What does the Festive Season Mean to You?’, Shirley writes about the Six Fs of Christmas.  Find out what these are and enjoy reading how Shirley and her family celebrate this special time of year.

Shirley writes:



Christmas 2017 is going to be different to any other we’ve celebrated. The last “family Christmas” we had was many years ago. Since then, we have added to our number two daughters-in-law and four grandchildren! (Hey, just doing our bit! God told Noah and family to go out and populate the world!)

Our families have spread across the globe, and each family unit now does their own thing. However, this year we are all getting together! My eldest son recently bought a very beautiful home with many bedrooms, some four hours drive away. He has invited us to all join them for several days.

The Six Fs of Christmas

My daughter and son-in-law are coming from Monte Negro. My youngest son and daughter-in-law are coming from Johannesburg with our middle two grandchildren whom we haven’t seen for nearly four years.  My eldest grandchild will drive over from a town not far from our destination, and we will travel from Port Elizabeth. This will be the first Christmas we’ll be together for over 20 years! Sadly, there will be one missing person. Our eldest grandson is stuck in America as he’s working towards his green card and can’t leave the country.


Although at times we have resorted to a “cold meat and salad” meal, as a family we love our traditional Christmas Dinner of roast chicken (in lieu of turkey which isn’t a family favourite), gammon, crispy potatoes, several veggies. Pudding (Sweets) consists of steamed fruit pudding and custard and delicious trifle for those deprived souls who don’t like fruit pudding.


Six Fs of Christmas

We decorate the lounge (sitting room) and the dining table. When we sit down for the Christmas meal, we wear silly paper hats, pull crackers, read out the jokes, and generally have a great time around the table.


(Okay, so if it wasn’t free, it wouldn’t be a gift! But I needed another F!) For weeks or months before we wrack our brains. What can we give to Samantha, whom we haven’t seen for nearly four years? What would our daughters-in-law like that won’t break the bank? Where will we find that special something for each person? I make greeting cards for each person and fun gift tags to go on the prezzies. As people arrive for the meal (and in this case for several days!) they’ll put their presents at the foot of a large decorated Christmas tree and try to prevent the little ones from taking a peak.


At some time over the festive period, my husband and I always sit together and reminisce over Christmas celebrations of the past. My husband was a full-time minister (pastor) and so our Christmas holds many memories: funny, difficult, heart-warming, and chaotic to name a few. A special highlight we always remember is the nativity play that “bombed” thanks to a little cherub of three who became stage struck. The three-year-old girl angel sitting obediently next to him became annoyed and tried to wrestle him to the floor. He lashed at her and a fist-fight ensued. This prompted a quick casting down to earth of the two warring angels (totally Biblical) to our horror and accompanied by hysteria from the watching congregation.


Six Fs of Christmas

The integral part of the celebrations is always remembering that little baby who was born over 2,000 years ago and laid in a manger because there was no room for him in the local inn. Churches usually put on nativity plays and carol services as near to Christmas as they can. As a family, we all go to Church in the morning, whether together or far apart, to give thanks to Jesus Christ for coming as our Saviour. This year we will all go together: 9 adults and 5 kiddies. What an amazing Christmas this promises to be.



Meet Shirley

Six Fs of Christmas

Shirley Corder is a retired registered nurse, pastor’s wife, cancer survivor, and author. She lives near the sea in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, with her husband Rob. Published internationally, Shirley is the author of “Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer” (Revell/Baker 2012) and is contributing author to eleven other books to date. She is currently producing a series of eBooks on women in the Bible who are seen under the shadow of another person or location. She plans to convert these to print in the coming year.

Connect with Shirley

MAIN WEBSITE: https://www.shirleycorder.com

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://amzn.to/2jxhAv2

FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/Shirley.M.Corder/



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  • Reply Donna December 14, 2017 at 08:46

    Hi, Shirley – And don’t forget my favourite ‘F Word’…’Fun”! (Although I realize that you have this well covered in all of your points above). I am off to wrap Christmas Stocking Stuffers now (wrapping needed because my family peeks)! Thanks for a great post!

    • Reply shirley corder December 15, 2017 at 00:08

      Hi Donna! Oh yes, there must be Fun. Lots and lots of Fun! Have a great Christmas!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 15, 2017 at 07:02

      Hi Donna, yes Fun is important and I loved Shirley’s post. My husband wraps all the gifts as he is very ‘talented’ in that area – I’m not! We have all the Santa Sacks ready for the grandchildren who are coming this weekend. x

  • Reply Debbie December 14, 2017 at 21:51

    Nice to read your post Shirley! I love the fact that you’ll be getting together with family this Christmas. All the best to you all as you celebrate.
    Thanks Sue for sharing another great blogger and their personal story of Christmas.

    • Reply shirley corder December 15, 2017 at 00:26

      Thanks Donna. It’s been great swapping posts with Sue this Christmas time. Her post will be up on my website tomorrow as she tells us all about Link Parties and how they work. Sue’s guest post will be at https://shirleycorder.com/varied-topics/ tomorrow.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 15, 2017 at 07:12

      Hi Deb glad you enjoyed Shirley’s take on Christmas. I hadn’t thought of writing something like that. I love sharing other bloggers as you know and can’t wait for my Over 50 & Thriving series to start next year. Have a great weekend and thanks for your continued support of my blog. xx

  • Reply Diana Lynn Montgomery December 15, 2017 at 00:12

    Loved the blog. I never thought of it like Christmas with all the F’s but it what it is all about. Our Christmas we all will be together at my son’s for dinner. That’s what it is all about to me Christ and family and friends. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 15, 2017 at 07:12

      Hi Diana, you have said it perfectly and I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful and happy 2018. x

    • Reply shirley corder December 15, 2017 at 17:06

      Thanks for visiting, Di. And a very happy family Christmas to you as well.

  • Reply Sue December 16, 2017 at 19:34

    Such a wonderful way to spend with family! I wish you a very blessed Christmas this year and may you find even more “f’s” to enjoy ?! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 18, 2017 at 11:05

      Thanks Sue and I really enjoyed having Shirley as my guest. A joyous Christmas to you and your family and I hope 2018 is full of happiness. xx

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au December 17, 2017 at 19:22

    Shirley I’m so happy your family can all be together for Christmas this year – I love your son’s home and the fact that there’s room for everyone (and that the family is making such an effort to gather together). Wishing you all a blessed and joyous time – you’ll be having a sunny day like we do in Australia (no snow or Christmas sweaters!)

  • Reply Christie Hawkes December 20, 2017 at 05:07

    It sounds like a delightful celebration, Shirley. I love the story of the warring angels. One of my favorite portraits of my two daughter is one where the youngest has a tear running down her face and the oldest’s knee socks have been pushed down around her ankles. It’s just so real and triggers a flood of fond memories of when they were little. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    Thanks Sue for having Shirley guest post. I love be introduced to bloggers I haven’t met yet.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 21, 2017 at 05:15

      Hi Christie that is why I love guest posts. It is great to find other bloggers to follow and I find that if I read a guest post on another blog I check them out. I’m all about supporting other bloggers in any way I can xx

  • Reply Christmas Day 2019 July 15, 2019 at 22:10

    That’s wonderful article.. Cheers

  • Reply Merry Christmas August 20, 2019 at 04:59

    Nice Website i like this theme

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