Last night Tom and I fell asleep with the sound of voices in our ears...the rare sound of young voices just outside our bedroom door fighting to be heard in their eagerness to share stories, peppered with shouts, gasps and laughs. It's been months since we've had anything but silence in our ears as we drift off, and in the not-so-distant past, I would have been up shushing those voices and shooing them downstairs so I could get some sleep.
But last night the voices brought a smile to my face, and despite the ruckus, I was out within minutes.
I loved having these kids back in my house...I say "kids" even though technically they're all adults now, ranging in age from 18 to 21, recently returned from Egypt, New York City, China and various cities in Texas...but to me they'll always be kids, and when I look at them, I'll see them as they were in elementary school...junior high...high school. As students...actors...band members...scouts...soccer, basketball and football players.
I didn't have a lot of books of my own when I was growing up, but book-addict that I am, you can bet that I still have every single one of them. For some reason having all those kids here, listening to their stories about experiences far from our small town, reminded me of one of my favorites...The Seven Wonderful Cats...just a little children's book about an old lady that adopts seven kittens. In one part she lets them go away to school. She misses them terribly, but soon they return and entertain her with stories about their adventures away from home. Last night I felt like Dame Wiggins of Lee (the old lady in the book), amazed at and proud of the experiences and accomplishments of these kids that have grown up before my eyes.
Today I can hear the wind roaring through the trees outside. A cold front blew in last night, dropping temperatures 30 degrees to a more Christmas-y level. Tom is cleaning out the wood-burning stove, preparing to start a fire. What little shopping I had to do is done and now my Christmas Eve day will be spent baking cookies, wrapping a few gifts, hanging out with the kids, praying for Tommy's safe arrival this afternoon and sharing Christmas Eve Mass with my whole gang.
I hope all of you have a blessed Christmas as well...
My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that? - Bob Hope American comedian and actor, 20th century
The Christmas Story
|1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.
2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
3 And everyone went to his own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
|6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ [a] the Lord.
12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."