Thursday, December 28, 2006

On the Fourth Day of Christmas...

My true love told me to take it easy! So, I am having a wonderfully relaxing day (other than the 4 year old's morning-long temper tantrum, that is - nothing like the bagel cut up when you *really* wanted it big to mess up a 4 year old's day!) I simply love celebrating the 12 days of Christmas. Here at the AAA house we slowly decorate the house during Advent, culminating with the installation of the tree on Christmas Eve. We have munchy fun foods and some late-night coffee for mom and dad to give us energy to go to Midnight Mass.

I *love* Midnight Mass! This year at our Latin Mass parish, it was simply sublime! All our kids were just so good. They knew they had to show Jesus their best behavior as we wished Him Happy Birthday, and they tried so hard! We actually had to encourage the 4 and 6 year to lay down a bit - they tried mightily to stay awake! We came home and put on our brand-new PJs (we *always* get new PJs to open on Christmas Eve!), admired baby Jesus and the Angel and Shepherds that are now tucked into the manger, and then tumbled into bed.

Well, the kids did, at least. Dh and I stayed up a bit later to put some more presents under the tree. Even though we don't "do" the whole Santa Clause thing (we celebrate St. Nicholas's feast Day, and tell the kids from the beginning about the myths associated with St. Nick and Santa Clause), they simply love to pretend. So, we put out some presents on Christmas Eve, and fun is had by all. We then have the occasional surprise present under the tree during the 12 days of Christmas, and then there are always a few more presents for the feast of the Epiphany. The Magi are making their journey through our house, due to arrive at the manger on the Epiphany. At some point this season, our pastor is coming to bless our house and enthrone the Sacred Heart of Jesus - we are so excited!

I just love celebrating 12 days of Christmas. I love that Advent is truly a time of waiting, and Christmas is a full season, not just one morning! Our faith is so wise, so wonderful!

So, I wanted to update, for the record, a few of our Advent activities now that I have some free moments. During the week before Christmas, we had the pleasure of going to see a children's Nutcracker performance by our local ballet troup. Here is a picture of them as we wait for the show to start:

The boys had never seen a live performance before, and they were absolutely thrilled! They started the show with the battle between the Mouse King and the Toy Soldiers, complete with cannon fire and flash-bangs. It was great! My oldest in particular simply loved it, said it was better than any movie he'd ever seen in the theater, which was definitely high praise. It was just a great experience overall, I'm so glad we took the time to go!

The day after the Nutcracker, we had our big baking day. I love to bake, but with my health issues I really can't indulge all that much, and goodness knows none of us needs to gorge on sweets. So, I do a lot of baking, then send most of it to dh's work with him! He gets brownie points for bringing in treats, and we get to sample Christmas goodies without over-indulging. Of course, the actual baking is the most fun part!

After a busy week of preparation, we decorated our tree on Christmas Eve, went to Midnight Mass, then woke up fairly early on Christmas morning. The boys were thrilled with their gifts,

And, the best present of all - do you remember The Bear? Indeed, as planned, we got N4 a new Morgan for Christmas.

Although there was some confusion about why this new Morgan looked the same, but yet different, ("But mom, this Morgan has two colors!" "Yes, N, the old Morgan used to have two colors, too, but they were loved right off...")
the new Morgan is happily settled into N4's arms on a fairly constant basis, and mom is glad to have a Bear still a part of our family!

And now, on this 4th day of Christmas, mom is getting some much-deserved downtime. I'm going to spend some time deciding what to do with the Amazon gift certificate from my parents, reading a bit, and trying to do more of my knitting. Next week I hope to clean off my desk and get a bit more organized for both the new year, and starting back to school on the 8th. But for the rest of this week, how wonderful to just rest in the Joy of the Season!

Blessings to you and yours this Christmas!

No comments: