Sunday, December 31, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

It came upon a midnight clear, certainly for our family as we ushered in the feast of Christmas day, in the late dead of night. Our trek found us traveling to church in anticipation of attending Midnight Mass.

The Christmas lights were spectacular around town, the traffic minimal, the roads darker than dark with farmland stretching forever into the landscapes and no sight of lighting for miles at a time. Surely this was a special time as the midnight hour was drawing near.

Awake now & ready for church!

Arriving at the church, beauty was everywhere with the church decorated with ornate and exquisite wonder. Thousands of mini white lights were twinkling, candles were glowing in every window, and greenery was in the décor with more lighting woven throughout its boughs, three Christmas trees were on the altar with a very large crèche in the front of it. The lighting remained off for the duration of the early morning and baby Jesus was placed into the manger as a chorus of angels sang out “O Holy Night”…with the glow of the twinkling lights acting as the stars of the night.

How beautiful!

How wonderful!

How holy was the night!

Arriving home promptly a few minutes before 3:00 Am., everyone hugged a Merry Christmas to one another, placed baby Jesus in all the crèches welcoming his arrival we had been preparing for, and then all collapsed into bed, hearts still glowing from the most incredible entrance to this feast day.

Christmas morning came soon enough, children all bouncing around eagerly awaiting mom and dad’s attention. The excitement of the day was at hand, the coffee was brewing, and the cheese platter was being prepared for all to assemble in the living room. Usually we sing with hearty voices, but this morning, somehow, we just enjoyed being together in during our quiet early morning hours, missing the rest of the gang not able to be near us this year for Christmas.

Breakfast was prepared in advance, proven to be an immense time saver. The breakfast casserole was in the oven baking, and sending it’s aroma throughout the home, the smell of sausage and cheese wafted about. The fruit salad was in the fridge, and the croissants were to be prepared. I still laugh at the scene before me finding one daughter unsure of the method of banging open a can of Pillsbury dough croissants (something we never usually buy), just pulling all the dough from the center of the crack when popped open. She never knew each little croissant was prepared with perforations to separate each and simply fold up, so she made due with the faux pas and created a unique batch of croissants I’ll never forget. Some were huge reminiscent of large lamb chops, others tiny like mini croissants. They were sure good though, all were consumed by the end of the meal!

First though, we would nibble on cheese and crackers, sip our hot cuppa, and just be content for the moment opening a few gifts. The children were thrilled with the thoughtfulness of other siblings and grandparents from the west with the gifts sent our way, then mom and dad presented them with their one gift, only their stockings filled with little things. That was it this year, leaner than normal because of a pending family trip that was also a gift to all.

Making memories.

In my last post, I wrote about cooking up our Christmas dinner ahead of time on Christmas Eve, which we did. It was waiting in the fridge in case it was needed for travel to my husband’s office. However the day seemed to turn around for us, hope still filling the air with hubby traveling to work for his conference calls, then that was it. When he telephoned home to say his mission was complete, so rather than pack up and head to his office with dinner in tow, in the oven it went right here at home instead.

The cranberry candles were lit, the music turned on, the lights on outdoors, the table set, the items unpacked originally intended for the office evening, and everyone commenced some well deserved relaxation.

Another year older,
another year wiser (I hope)

Thank you so much to everyone who called us this day, and all those who sent precious thoughts our way to make us feel more homey in the east. Truly, on occasions such as these ones, our family and friends are treasured.

Merry Christmas to all!