Trimming the tree with the children before Mass…
Theresa stopped by our house, and she snapped our family picture before we all went to Mass together.
Our parish had Mass at 9pm this year, rather than our traditional Midnight Mass, which actually works out better for us with the children. I joked with Fr. Harvey afterward that we should always have Mass at that time…the kids were so tired, they sat there in a daze, nodding off occasionally. I did not have to correct any of them, not once! lol
We had three priests at this Mass, a very rare occasion for our small parish. Fr. Harvey brought with him two priests from India, and they blessed us by singing Christmas carols in their native language at the end of Mass. It was very different from anything the children had ever heard, and they could not stop giggling. Fr. Harvey also brought his guitar and sang for us “Mary Did You Know”.
After everyone was sound asleep, Sunshine and I placed the presents beneath the tree. Then we stayed up into the wee hours of the morning visiting over chips and salsa. I love these times when I have my oldest girl to myself! We went out sometime after midnight to the corner gas station for some soda to go with our salsa, and witnessed a light snowfall. We knew that all evidence of snow would probably be gone by daylight, but we felt privileged to be able to witness the Christmas snow!
Here is what our house looked in the still darkness of Christmas morning… It seemed to me that I was only in bed for a minute before the children came bouncing on our bed exclaiming “It’s Christmas!” Here I am, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Not.
The children got something they did not expect…hand-held electronic games! We bought them all Leapfrogs, with games featuring their favorite characters, which help them practice their math, spelling, and other skills. They love them. Mojo played with her Indiana Jones game all afternoon…and didn’t even realize that she was actually doing math. lol Sneaky mama. She also got Hanna Montana and Nancy Drew games. Caveman’s games included Batman and Star Wars. Gem got Dora and Disney Princesses games. Juju got a puppy that talks and plays music.
Sunshine got a digital camera.Bear even got a toy! A Lionel electric train set…
Mama got a black leather coat and boots, perfume, and pjs with wine glasses on them.
We had lots of good food, including homemade cinnamon rolls, sausage, and bacon for brunch. Dinner was roast with mushroom gravy, squash dressing, green bean casserole, broccoli and cauliflower with cheese, a green jello salad (which was immediately dubbed “Vulcan brains”, lol), and apple pie with ice cream.
(Jan L., if you are reading this, notice I am using a knife and not string! And my cinnamon rolls are still beautiful. ;-P )
We stayed in our pajamas til about 3pm. When we finally stirred around, we went to see my stepmom and Grandma C. The kids got even more toys. Juju loved his wooden blocks, Caveman was kept busy for awhile with his wooden horse puzzle and magnets, Gem added more ponies to her My Little Pony family, and Mojo got a Lite Brite. Which Mama may steal and play with. ;-) Thank you, Grandma Lil!
All in all, it has been a blessed Christmas. While eating our brunch, Little Gem said “Thank you for all this wonderful food, Mama.” That girl melts my heart!
Mojo said “This has been the best Christmas ever!”
But our blessings of Christmas go far beyond gifts and food. The best blessing of all is Christ the Light, illuminating this dark world. Goodness, beauty, warmth, and love would not exist without His light. Christmas (Christ's Mass) is just the beginning of our celebration of Jesus' birth. We will continue to celebrate until the Feast of the Epiphany, where we remember the manifestations of Jesus' Divinity--His finding by the magi, His Baptism, and His first miracle at the wedding feast at Cana. May you all be blessed this Christmas season!