Christmas morning was warm and rainy – very UN-New England like.
And I was the first one up – very UN-me like. There was time to get the coffee made and the camera all set up before the kids got up.
This year, everyone received books – lots of books. Some were unwrapped – those meant to be shared with the entire family. The rest were wrapped for someone special. There were new games, miniature pots and pans, felt sandwich fixings, new Schleich dinosaurs, and, as always, handmade gifts. Those are always the favourites. When gift opening was finished, we enjoyed our traditional Christmas breakfast of homemade cinnamon buns, hard boiled eggs, and cocoa.
The rest of the day was spent reading, playing, and cooking dinner: a home-cured and smoked ham and all the trimmings. We were too stuffed for dessert and had to take a nap first. 🙂 And then some of us had to take another nap after dessert.
And we are still Christmas-ing… at least for a few more days.
Some of you will remember my lament that I have no Nativity set. I was given my childhood one, which followed us around the world. But it was never unpacked. We still have some boxes that haven’t been opened in nearly two decades, it is possible that it is still safely tucked away. I do hope so. But for most of my married life, I have not displayed a Nativity.
After Brian’s ordination, it began to sting a little more. I felt more than ever that I should have one. I had every intention of purchasing one this year, and had gathered up our gift certificates for a particular religious goods store that we love. Alas, it wasn’t enough, by quite a long way, to purchase the Fontanini set that Brian and I had been dreaming of. I was a little heartbroken. OK, more than a little.
And just a couple of days ago, a big box arrived in the mail.
The first figure out of the box was, quite appropriately, St. Francis:
It’s wonderful. I am so grateful that someone decided to let another family enjoy their Nativity. I’m sure it will be treasured for many years to come.
Brian is already dreaming of a whole new stable and village for all 35 figures. I’m just dreaming of putting Baby Jesus in His manger bed on Christmas Eve, when we return from Mass.
For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
The promises of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations.”
“He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.’
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
and my covenant with him stands firm.”
Every year, we choose a night to celebrate Hanukkah, generally the first or last evening. We decided that, since Hanukkah ends on Christmas Eve, a really busy night for clergy families, that the first night was it. This year, it also happened to coincide with one of Brian’s rare commuting days. So we ate very late and didn’t have time for our customary dreidel game.
We did have a wonderful meal, and by the time it was over, it was the fourth night of Hanukkah. The menorah had lit itself! The first candle leaned over to light the second, the second lit the third, and the third lit the fourth – our own Hanukkah miracle.
So we will play dreidel tonight. If you hear loud, happy noises coming from the farm, you’ll know why.