Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Reflections 2013

On this second day of Christmas, the Love Bugs are still flying high from all of the celebrations.  We have had a lovely past few days.  Christmas Eve began with us going to Mass and then returning home to host Monkey's side of the family. Sweet Potato, Gummi and Cucumber entertained us with their piano solos and duets, and Honey Bunches serenaded us with Tom Petty's "Free Falling" on his guitar.  Christmas Day we stayed in our pajamas as long as we could before heading over to Sissy #1's house for a prime rib dinner, gifts and games. Ah yes, and the ever loved eggnog station. We played "Balderdash" which had us laughing until we cried.  We pretty much all collapsed in our beds last night.  Today was about recovery for me, as I think if I had been afforded, I may have slept the entire day.  As I am writing this, Monkey is ice-fishing, the boys are gone overnight, Cucumber is reading on the Kindle, Pumpkin is stickering on a stack of papers, Sweet Pea is coloring and Gummi is working in an activity book.

A few minutes ago we gathered for our evening family prayer, continuing with the Jesse Tree symbol and reading.  Tonight's scripture was Luke 2:8-20.  There are many passages I hold dear, but my two favorite scrpiture passages are Psalm 139 and this one from Luke, "And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart."  These words never fail to move me.  They are simple, yet beautiful. They are full of wisdom and love.

This reading is so timely, as I sit and reflect on the Christmas season.  There were so many moments that I wanted to freeze time.  I desperately want to remember certain conversations and funny stories.  I wanted to capture feelings of contentment, joy, and gratitude.  These reflections I never want to forget.  I want to hold them in my heart forever.  No other time during the year seems to remind me more of the preciousness and fleeting of time, than Christmas.  It is a season where my heart aches for the absence of those loved ones who have passed, and increases my home-sickness for those who live far away.

For Mary, she held close the message that had been revealed to the Shepards about the Christ child.  As a mother, I can only imagine all the thoughts and emotions racing through this gentle and faithful woman at that instant.  I have often wondered, that as she held Baby Jesus in her arms and gazed into his eyes, did she too long to remember that moment forever?  Did she too want to freeze time and keep Jesus "little" for awhile longer?  As she knelt at the foot of the cross, did she think back to that time in the stable?

As our family continues to celebrate these days of Christmas, I will continue to challenge myself to hold close all that is dear, with the Holy Family as my model.

With all that being said, here are a few fun comments from my kids.

Before Christmas, we were at a gathering where there was a drawing.  Someone got up and announced, "We'll now be drawing for the door prizes."  Sweet Pea asked, "What kind of prizes does a door give away?"

Pumpkin needed a bandaid for a small cut on her finger.  Since she is a "big" girl, she wanted to do it herself. After I had watched her struggle with the application of the bandaid, I asked, "Can I give you a hand with that?"  Pumpkin said, "No.  I've got it under control."

A few Saturdays ago we were attending one of Sweet Potatoes basketball games.  The girls had packed a tote bag with "essentials."  Honey Bunches had offered to carry the bag into the gym for us.  Half way there he said, "Did you girls really need to pack so much?  Just remember, there are people in this world without water bottles, snacks and boardgames!"

Well said, my little philanthropist.

On our way to Christmas Eve Mass
The Eggnog Station
My favorite Christmas decoration this year; Gummi posed as an elf.
The "warm-up" after playing in the snow.

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