He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.
Roy L. Smith
Good morning. Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I'm sure most have been busy with holiday preparations since most of us celebrate either Winter Solstice/Yule or Christmas and many of us celebrate both. And then there are those of us, myself included, who like to celebrate both.
On Saturday it was cold and snowy outside so I stayed in my jammies, watched Christmas movies, and wrapped my gifts. I've finished all my shopping and didn't even have to deal with masses of rude Christmas shoppers. Oh, why didn't I discover Cyber Monday sooner! There isn't as much under the tree this year, but material gifts are not what it is all about. When I explained that both hubby and I were on a limited budget this year, my son, bless him, said "That's okay mom. What's important is that we are all together." With all my motherhood mistakes, I guess I did something right.
Merely of merchant's trafficking,
Of tinsel, bell and holly wreath
And surface pleasure, but beneath
The childish glamour, let us find
Nourishment for soul and mind.
Let us follow kinder ways
Through our teeming human maze,
And help the age of peace to come
From a Dreamer's martyrdom.
And then later it was quiet time. I did some reading, played some Bingo on my phone, and sipped hot chocolate while watching the snowfall. It didn't amount to much, but it sure was pretty watching it come down. It felt good to just place all of my troubles on the back burner and just enjoy the day.
On Sunday it was kind of messy when I got up, and it took awhile to make up my mind, but eventually I did shower and get dressed to go to Church. I really love the symbolism of the lighting of the Advent candles--Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. Isn't that what this season is really all about?
You really can't notice it in this picture, and I really wish I hadn't closer, but sometimes I feel strange taking pictures in Church. I know that is silly because they had told me as long as it wasn't during services. Anyway, in the very front near the altar is a Christmas tree. It stands just in front of a life size statue of Christ with his arms outstretched as if ready to embrace you. The way the tree is set up it appears that Jesus is rising from the tree...a Pagan symbol. I don't even think it occurred to them. Just a thought I wanted to share.
I am staying home today though. It's brutally cold out there and they say that all the the melting from yesterday has re-frozen into icy patches. I can't afford to take chances anymore. I am petrified of falling. At least, though, they are much better at shoveling here than where I used to live. I remember many a morn heading off to work and holding onto fences as I made my way to the subway....which reminds me of something I wanted to share.
The priest ended the Mass on Sunday with a little poem he had written while still in theological school. It was called "When Did Snow Become Such a Bother." It was really beautiful, and I wish I had a copy. It was basically about how we loved snow when we were children, how snow days were such a joy. Oh, those happy times when school was canceled, and we could go out and make snowmen or build snow angels. Then, as we became adults, we worried when school was canceled because 'who would take care of the children so we could go to work?' There was the bother of shoveling, of driving in icy weather, etc. And then we grow older still, and now a snow day is something to be feared. We are afraid that we will fall. Where we once 'loved' throwing ourself in the snow, we now have to worry about crippling injuries.
Just goes to show how our perception of things undergoes changes throughout our lives.
May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas which is peace;
The heart of Christmas which is love.
Ada V. Hendricks