The birthday cake for Jesus--something our extended family has done for years.
I think W thought it might have been for him..
I hope all of you had a beautiful Christmas Day with your family and loved ones! What a wonderful day it was for us, too.
It is this time of year that I feel thankful to be discovering the fullness of the Christmas Season-- not just one day, Dec. 25th, but an entire 12 days leading up until Epiphany, January 6th. (Also the day of our Epiphany pageant at church! Can't wait!) This is so much better, for me especially, than one day being over and done with and feeling the post Christmas let down kick in. Just as the hopeful and quietly expectant mood of Advent has been discarded in large segments of Christianity, so too has the feasting and joy during the full Christmas season. In church this past week, we have still sung carols, the decorations remain and by last year at this time I discovered that by the end of Christmastide, I was ready to move along. There was no more letdown. Our tree and all decorations will come down the night of January 6th while W is asleep. In its place, in the morning, he will find a new and beautiful houseplant to enjoy throughout the year...with a green ribbon affixed, the color for Epiphany. All other greenery is removed from our home before Feb. 2nd, Candlemas, the first official Spring festival of the year! I like to do this the eve of Candlemas, as it makes it seem all that more real for me.
It's very easy for me to get caught up in moments; to look forward to something so much, to be standing in that moment and breathing it in, thinking, "ahhhh! This is the time! This is it!" This is the second year that I have served as an acolyte during our church's Christmas Eve service. This year, I was the crucifer; the acolyte who leads the service in the procession, holding a huge, tall, gold, ornate cross. The high altar was decorated so beautifully with pointsetais and the music was loud, mighty and beautiful! This was Christmas Eve! The cross is affixed on top of a 4 foot long wooden rod and feels very heavy for me. I had vivid dreams of dropping it, it falling over, or something else terrible happening. Fast forward to about 45 minutes into the service, where the other acolytes and I sit up at the high altar, pretty much in front of everyone. The cross, which was sitting in its appropriate place, latched with a hook....and seemingly all of a sudden fell over, crashed, and nearly broke. Envision 100 people or so gasping at the same time at this loud noise....and then watching it being picked up, all mangled and bent. Oh man. I felt like all eyes were on me. How did this happen? AHHH!
Turns out, the cross was in its right place--it just so happened that on this day, at that hour, in that very moment, the wood snapped. Wow. As I walked back outside into the dark evening, snow was falling. The night was quiet. There is always a real hush I experience on Christmas Eve night. The night seems endless...and I always wonder what every single other person in the world is doing at this very moment. I think the same thing a few moments before midnight on New Years Eve. What I do know is that I am here. I am looking up at the sky...I am laying in bed with my husband and Wesley, and we are all holding hands. It is warm. It's a nice feeling, especially when bed time has been an insane and sometimes really terrible experience for us these past few weeks.
This is my life. For all the wonderful and not so wonderful times. For everything that is fair and unfair. For where I come from, who I am, and what I have become.