Happy Feast of St. Stephen and Merry Christmas, Day 2. Hey, you gotta celebrate every day of Christmas that you get.
I hope everyone had the Christmas they hoped for. I know I did. Christmas Eve the whole family gathered at my brother John’s house where we oohed and aahed over the amazing new addition to the house that he basically did on his own. The old home I grew up in seems like a new place.
Christmas morning I went to the 8:30 Mass at my parish with my sister and her family. Wow, everybody must go to Christmas Eve or later Christmas Day Masses. There were only about 40 people in the church. And Kateri and Chiara were the only two kids there, except for the altar servers! We ended up doing a lot of the work too: Evy’s husband Pete was called up to be a Eucharistic minister, Evy and I brought up the gifts, and at Communion, Father asked me and Pete to get some guys to do the collection that wasn’t done. Phew!
I was so tired that I went home, made some pancakes (from scratch, of course!) and fell asleep on the couch in front of some documentary that had Avery Brooks debunking the siege of Jericho. (Merry Christmas!) Awake! Off to dinner at my brother Bernie’s, back to John’s after, and then I slept over there because I was just too tired to drive home.
Wow! This is what Christmas is about: taking time to pray, to re-connect with family, to celebrate the birth of the Lord. Gifts are nice, as is watching the excitement of the kids, but it’s all secondary to just being together.
I don’t think I had fully entered into an adult faith until the first year I realized that Christmas isn’t about carols and decorations and gifts and shopping and all that. Now, even though I received some amazing gifts, I would not be disappointed if I didn’t get a single thing. (Ironically, it’s at that point gifts became gifts again and not obligations.) Instead, I’m just glad to be with the ones I love.