Saturday, December 8, 2007
Christmas for me is warmth in spirit despite a cold world, and extraordinary wonder in the face of ordinary life.
This is my last weekend off before we travel to the Philippines to see my parents for the holidays. I've been determined to make good on Judy Garland's croon from Meet Me in St. Louis: to have myself "a merry little Christmas" and make it the Christmasiest weekend possible, in both sensory and spiritual ways, in anticipation of my being on-call all next weekend. So far, so good!
We've enjoyed snow in the air, and on the ground; the baking of buttery cookies - this year, it's Christmas mice; my daughter's Christmas show - a festive musical revue to put song in anyone's heart; my son in elfin garb working on crafty projects at home; Christmas music in the kitchen; evening Advent prayer by candlelight prior to a yummy home-cooked supper for my mother-in-law; family caroling; and the trimming of my tiny Christmas tree, perhaps the best present my family could give me this year.
We decided not to get a real, full-size tree because of our upcoming voyage, but I couldn't bear not to have at least a small, fake one, so I bought a $5 one at Walmart and ordered ornaments from The Christmas Mouse - an instrument for each member of the family: oboe for me, guitar for my husband, violin for my son, and piano for my daughter. As we sat on the floor hugging our knees in front of our tiny Tannenbaum we kew we had that warmth and wonder among us that makes Christmas Christmas. This was it - light, joy, faith, hope, and love moving through all of us, connecting us, as we enjoyed our time together.
Just a few more glimpses of our happy time and some favorite quotes for the season:
The Reagle Players welcoming audience members into the theater with traditional carols. "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." - Charles Dickens
"Christmas, my child, is love in action." - Dale Evans. My little boy was so discouraged when he spent the afternoon trying to make me a Christmas present, but it proved too difficult: a paper owl. He doesn't realize what a gift it was to know he had even dreamed up such an ambitious and creative present, and to see how much heart he put into the work.
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect."
- Oren Arnold
“I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas.”- Taylor Caldwell