We contemplate what brought us joy,
And we think of our loved ones and our friends.
We reflect upon who really counts,
As the fresh and bright new year arrives.
I’ve been a really good girl this year. And seeing as I have been, I wanted to ask you if you would be so kind as to leave me, oh, well, you know... maybe a new camera lens, or the book, “Photography for Dummies”, or maybe a photography class. I just really, really, really love taking photos of everyone and I want to do a better job of it. If that’s too much, I’ll settle for some new socks, some perfume, a laptop or some gift cards to places I love.
Shawn-a-Claus, thank you for everything and I’ll be sure to leave you some milk and cookies.
Last weekend we went to Germany & Austria for a shortbreak. We enjoyed the Christmas markets, a "Sound of Music" tour, some serious sledding, visiting small towns with Advent celebrations, and had an all around great time.
During the tour in Salzburg, as we drove through the mountains, we got to see lots of snow. That's a beautiful sight especially since it hardly snows in England. So on our little escapade through the mountains, we had a family snowball fight and my hubby caught it on tape...
I know snow might not be a "beautiful thing" to some of you with all of its inconveniences, but we enjoyed it while it lasted.
IT’S . THE HOUSE IS QUIET. Even the crackle is gone from the fireplace. The last of the carolers appeared on the ten o’clock news. The last of the apple pie was eaten by my brother-in-law. And the last of the have been stored away having dutifully performed their annual rendition of chestnuts, white Christmases, and red-nosed reindeers.
It’s Christmas night.
The midnight hour has chimed and I should be asleep, but I’m awake. I’m kept awake by one stunning thought. The world was different this week. It was temporarily transformed.
The magical dust of star of Bethlehem.glittered on the cheeks of humanity ever so briefly, reminding us of what is worth having and what we were intended to be. We forgot our compulsion with winning, wooing, and warring. We put away our ladders and ledgers, we hung up our stopwatches and weapons. We stepped off our race tracks and roller coasters and looked outward toward the
It’s the season to be jolly because, more than at any other time, we think of him. More than in any other season, his name is on our lips.
And the result?
For a few precious hours, he is beheld. Christ the Lord. Those who pass the year without seeing him, suddenly see him. People who have been accustomed to using his name in vain, pause to use it in praise. Eyes, now free of the blinders of self, marvel at his majesty.
All of a sudden he’s everywhere.
In the grin of the policeman as he drives the paddy wagon full of presents to the orphanage.
In the twinkle in the eyes of the Taiwanese waiter as he tells of his upcoming Christmas trip to see his children.
In the emotion of the father who is too thankful to finish the dinner table prayer.
He’s in the tears of the mother as she welcomes home her son from overseas.
He’s in the heart of the man who spent Christmas morning on skid row giving away cold baloney sandwiches and warm wishes.
And he’s in the solemn silence of the crowd of shopping mall shoppers as the elementary school chorus sings “.”
Emmanuel. He is with us. God came near.
It’s Christmas night. In a few hours the cleanup will begin—lights will come down, trees will be thrown out. Size 36 will be exchanged for size 40, eggnog will be on sale for half price. Soon life will be normal again. December’s generosity will become January’s payments and the magic will begin to fade.
But for the moment, the magic is still in the air. Maybe that’s why I’m still awake. I want to savor the spirit just a bit more. I want to pray that those who beheld him today will look for him next August. And I can’t help but linger on one fanciful thought: If he can do so much with such timid prayers lamely offered in December, how much more could he do if we thought of him every day?