|After midnight mass!!|
|DH and I have been hoping for the time when our little family could try out going to midnight mass...we decided THIS was our year. All kids except #3 were in agreement. |
Besides it being warm in the church and the littles needing to get out once to stretch their legs and get some fresh air, it went really well and the mass was so beautiful. We loved that their were some special moments for quiet reflection like pre mass Christmas carols, and a beautiful introductory meditation led by our deacon.
Don't mind #2's 'mass attire'. He was an altar server at mass, but afterwards someone picked up his mass shirt...so he had to wear his sweatshirt (at least it's his favorite one) for our picture.
We spent Christmas morning in our jammies enjoying the morning as a 'little' family and the excitement and joy that each individual child brings to our family. The happiness and enthusiasm of the 2 youngest children, #4 who is also still a believer, but at the same time we can see asking questions about how all 'this' works, and the 3 oldest children who are now in on the beautiful traditions of St. Nicholas and his spirit of generosity and we are elves with us...it's all a gift. All of their different stages and ages are beautiful and cause us to reflect on how they are always changing and each one growing up into their own unique and faithful servant of God.
We arrived at Grandma and Grandpa's house about 4pm. On our way we spoke about the gift that it is to right now be able to drive a short distance to spend time with those we love. How not everyone has that gift. How we don't know the 'day nor the hour' that may challenge this tradition. The children have a Great Aunt who is faithfully involved in their lives as well and is always present to each of them. Our kids also have a beautiful Aunt who is in college and only home during her breaks from school. So we cherish these holiday memories with all 4 of them and we are aware that 'things' won't always be as they are now. For this we are so grateful. They are a gift in our children's lives and we are soaking up this time with them.
DH and I didn't grow up with grandparents who were involved and part of our life. We feel so blessed knowing that our children have grown up with 2 sets of grandparents who have so much faith and beauty and memories and time to share with them. This is a gift that cannot be measured with a price. Thank you, Lord, for one of the best gifts you could have given DH and I this Christmas. We promise to cherish the time you give us with them.