Thursday, January 7, 2010
The End of Christmas...
(The family on Christmas Eve)
I always want to get the most from each liturgical season, and with Christmas coming to a close on Sunday, I feel like I have not adequately experienced it. Part of this is due to a whilrwind two and a half weeks of traveling wherein it's been tough to make it to daily Mass and wherein - the absolute worst part of our trip (worse even then getting vomited on) - I apparently left my prayer book on an airplane. I'm still mourning the loss and borrowing Jeff's for the meantime (well, actually, the one I lost was Jeff's, and the one I'm using now was a wedding gift to both of us).
(The girls opening gifts on Christmas morning)
Advent was great this year, however. It was nice for once not be ruled by the academic calendar and free to enjoy the liturgical calendar. Save for my daily piece of chocolate from my Advent calendar, I gave up sweets for Advent, and it really helped me be more aware of the season, since I also basically gave up baking for Advent. Since a few pieces of Maia's wooden nativity set walked off, we got the girls the deluxe Fisher Price Nativity set this year for St. Nicholas Day, and Maia and I had a blast acting out the Nativity story during Advent.
On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, we went to Mass as a family (I sat with Maia in a side transcept and Jeff with Eva in the back of the main transcept - a trick we learned from a father of six. We don't do this at Sunday Masses, but at daily Masses it has worked wonders...). Then we took Maia to preschool, where we were reminded that they were having their first "chapel time." As we walked out the door, Jeff immediately began panicking about what Methodists might say to disillusion our daughter of her Catholicism. But he wasn't scared enough to want to stay for chapel time (we were invited).
When we came back to pick her up, her teacher informed us that everyone was very impressed with how much Maia knew about the Christmas story. She said that even the pastor was amazed with her knowledge. We tried to get Maia to tell us about what she had said, but she wouldn't. I had visions of her telling everyone about the annunciation, the visitation, the census decree, or perhaps the slaughter of the Holy Innocents- all of these things are included when we act out the Nativity.
(Santa goes for a ride in the new doll stroller)
Today Jeff and Maia were supposed to be acting out the Nativity, but when Jeff plays with it, the story takes strange turns, like Joseph deciding to ride in the wagon while Mary pulls the cow who is leading the cart. Yes, I know it's funny, but I still sometimes get annoyed with these antics. But I guess it's better than their arguing about where the camel was supposed to be and why Mary would be riding a cow instead of a donkey ("The donkey is lost, Dad, that's why!") and why they couldn't just throw Jesus in the back of the cart. At least it made me feel like Christmas is still on.