I cannot believe Christmas is already here. It seems like we just celebrated Christmas and here we are again.
We have been busy baking and decorating, as has most if the world this time of year. The kids have really become quite the bakers in recent months. They helped make turtles (or as the little girl down the block calls them-alligators (:),cake balls, and chocolate covered pretzels. All good-for-you stuff of course.
We attended the children’s Mass at Church tonight and it was beautiful. I had to leave early to go to work, but the part I stayed for was wonderful. Kids everywhere, taking part in the Mass and doing things they usually don’t get to do. They have a huge tree every year on the alter that is undecorated. After the Gospel, Father invited all the children to decorate the tree with gloves, scarves, mittens, and socks to donate to the homeless shelter. A beautiful gesture. Santa Clause also made an appearance-a weird thing to see during Christmas Mass but he was getting “in line to see Jesus.” (if you haven’t heard the song, it is beautiful. You can YouTube it.) So all the kids got in line behind Santa to see Baby Jesus. (Thought provoking moment.)
Headed to work right after Communion, I hated to leave early but people don’t stop getting sick just because it’s the holidays. I got stopped in the parking lot by someone yelling, “Ma’am! Ma’am!” I turned around because they kept screaming. The man asked me if I had any Benadryl because someone inside the Church was having an allergic reaction. Amy, our education coordinator, sent him after me since I’m a nurse. “Surely she’ll have some!” You would think between 2 different first aid kits there would be one Benadryl, but no. Remind me to buy new ones this year! My husband said they stopped Mass to ask anyone for the medicine. I hope they found some.
My kids, and husband of course, stopped by to see me after Mass. I eventually got to go home since there were too many nurses for our census. What a Christmas blessing!
So, now as we are upon Christmas day, as we get together with all our families, I will pray for all those with no family, no food, and no shelter. I am blessed beyond belief, and have way more than I deserve, all given to me by our Savior. Happy birthday Jesus. Merry Christmas to all.
Sometimes the most important things you learn are not from a planned curriculum. My husband and I could definitely not have taught a lesson any better than this.
On Saturday night, the same night as “A Night in Bethlehem,” as we were cleaning up and getting ready to leave Church, a lady and her 1 year old baby entered our Church. She was asking for food and a scarf for her baby. Both her and her baby had jackets on, but they were not thick and had holes in them. The baby had a runny nose. This was an especially cold night. One of the ladies from our Church gave her all of our leftovers, bread, cheese, apples, and juice, and I offered my little girl’s scarf. The baby was a boy, and I mentioned that the scarf had sequins all over it, but the mom didn’t seem to care, she just wanted something warm for her baby to wear. She wrapped it around him and he started walking around. Our little girl walked up to him (she had not heard the conversation) and said, “that’s my scarf, but you can wear it for now.” She clearly wanted it back, and I had to tell her the baby was going to keep it because he did not have warm clothes like her. Our two oldest had witnessed her coming in to Church and couldn’t believe what was happening. Now we don’t shelter our kids and let them believe that life is just great everywhere. In fact, we are constanly preaching how much we have in comparison to a lot. But, they have never really been around much of it. The lady received a whole bag of food, the scarf, and I gave her 2 bags of clothes that we were going to take to the goodwill store.
When we got in the car that night to go home, our little girl was still upset about her scarf. Our two oldest had a lot of questions also. We explained about sharing and helping those less fortunate. It was quiet in the car for awhile as the kids all pondered what had gone on that night. They had seen the need for food and necessities first hand and realized how much they had in comparison to many. It was a good lesson learned, not just for the kids, but a fresh reminder for us as parents, too.
So as we get wrapped up in gift giving and parties, let us not forget the real meaning of Advent and Christmas. Helping those less fortunate as our Savior did. This is the best present we could give Christ, our kids, and ourselves.
Merry Christmas to everyone. God bless.