let your blessing come upon us
as we illumine this tree.
May the light and cheer it gives
be a sign of the joy that fills our hearts.
May all who delight in this tree
come to the knowledge and joy of salvation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. – From the Rite of Blessing for a Christmas Tree
The kids had been waiting for days for Tree Cutting Day. Going out to get the tree on the farm is so rich with memories for all of us. This year, I couldn’t go, so our daughter Carrie took photographs for me to treasure.
I waited at home for them to come back. When I saw the sheep skitter across the knoll, I knew they were on the way. First, I saw Caroline come around the bend, pulling the sled with Georgie on it. Not far behind were the rest of the children, talking, laughing, skipping. Last, came an enormous tree with two pair of legs, boughs jauntily bouncing to the rhythm of their steps. I couldn’t believe what a gift I have been given in these people, in this place.
“I could leave the world with today in my eyes.” – Truman Capote (from A Christmas Memory)
We are anxiously awaiting the first day of Christmas, and thoroughly enjoying our Advent with all of its feasts that punctuate the quiet preparation. We are, once again, utterly failing at keeping up the Christmas Novena. But this year, I have it printed, framed and displayed on a side table in the dining room (where we spend most of our time). So if we walk past and say the prayer a few times a day, that is a vast improvement.
How are you preparing for the coming of the Christ Child?
Within our family branches
rests a little nest
a reminder of what’s important
for we are truly blessed.
Children grow and leave
relatives move away
but our home is a haven
where love will always stay.
– Sue Pitchfork
Two of our little birdies have flown the nest. Next year we will be blessed with a new birdy when our oldest daughter marries. Christmases are very different now, but I hope that Christmas here at home will always be full of happy memories. It is where love lives.