Christmas traditions... mine include a Christmas tree, wheat grass, Christmas music by Raffi, setting up the nativity, chestnut soup, opening Christmas presents on the 24th... When I was a child my memories of Christmas include... popcorn balls, the hall that my Grandparents rented to host my aunts, uncles, cousins... sixty two of us, midnight mass, Santa Claus, candy canes, new clothes, polished shoes...
I never doubted that Christmas would be wonderful. That I would have presents, that my mom would make a big dinner, that my Godparents would me spoil me, that Mass would be beautiful, that I would be happy, that angels would sing.
Christmas felt holy.
Different than any other day.
Those expectations remain, which can be daunting.
Chelsea and Sacha come home this evening for Christmas. I want them to feel, to know all those sweet meaningful, blessed memories I carry of Christmas. To have them as their own.
But I am not as selfless and giving as my family was.
My faith teaches me to put Christ in front of me, Christ behind me, Christ above and below me, Christ around me...
Unfortunately, I forget to follow his lead, which means I spend a great amount of time slipping up.
I am not talking about Catholic guilt. No, I am talking about wanting to be a better person, knowing I can be, having plenty of good examples of generosity of heart, kindness without expectations, unconditional love given... yet somehow I blunder admist it all!
Often I think I am the black sheep when it comes to surrendering my childish ways.
The symbols of Christmas remind me to listen, take heart, surrender, become, light the extra candle of goodness that is within me, to let the Christ child live within the manger of my soul and become pure love.
Photo source "antique artwork/nativity" Google.