Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday Jesus!
I have always loved this Solemnity and I have great memories of it throughout the years! While we put up the tree and my dad loved to play Santa Clause whenever needed at a church function; Midnight Mass was the main attraction! And yes I do remember Midnight Mass as a child, Immaculate Conception in Omaha being the ones I remember best even though the last one I attended there were 1976 at age 7. In my teen years I was organist at Christmas Eve and Midnight Mass at St. Jude’s and St. Elizabeth’s in Florida. Of course last night at St. Mary’s Cathedral in GI was also memorable.
For most of the children in the home who have never celebrated Christmas with us, it is a new experience. It can also be a sad and emotional time, if separated from siblings or this being the first time away from family at Christmas. Sometimes Christmas wasn’t pleasant. I always pray that the baby Jesus bring them healing, peace and joy on His birthday and throughout the Christmas Season! Christmas Eve Mass is new to them and we do pictures by the Creche and trees in Church after Mass. I go back for Midnight Mass while my mom and the children sleep!
Christmas day we stay home and relax and build positive memories. Stockings are at each persons place at the table and those are explored first! Then over to the Christmas Tree where there are presents for everyone, pets included!
Then Christmas Breakfast and I work on Christmas dinner while the children enjoy their new toys! Usually play outside sometime and close the day with a light supper and 1 decade of the 3rd Joyful Mystery! Of course there is birthday cake for dessert!
Yes, we do teach the children how to properly use breakable dishes! This doesn’t stifle the children, but is a tangible way for them to learn that there are things that are special and we use special dishes for those special meals! Helps to reinforce that they are special and need to be treated with care and respect; as well taking care of our things and the things around us; as they are gifted to our use by the Trinity!
I love the image of going to Bethlehem and seeing baby Jesus in the manger with Mary and Joseph, the animals, shepherds and angels! I always nice to imagine getting to hold baby Jesus!
May the Christ Child bless you and your family this Christmas Season!