Merry Christmas at last!

Merry Christmas finally from all of us here at Crazyland! My friend Leah gave me a funny note today that said, “Better late than later!” So while I drink my coffee and ponder whether to say I’m sick of being too tired to blog, or tired of being too sick to blog, I’ll begin.

We finished a busy month of redoing the basement suite just in time to decorate for Christmas. I tried really hard to fight my scatterbrained last-minute ways and do stuff ahead of time, so my tip of the season is this: pre-stuff the stockings a few days ahead and put them in a giant Tupperware tub so no tiny visitors (children move or other) will get into them.

It sure was awesome to not be filling the stockings in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve! Instead, I could just lay them on the kids’ beds (which we do to buy a little time in the morning) and head off to midnight Mass with my husband and the baby, while the kids slept with Grandma and Auntie Karen.

It was beautiful. Our parish florist always does an amazing job, and our choir is phenomenal. All the light and warmth in the darkness of night brings home the beauty of the Christmas message. Happily on the incense didn’t set off the fire alarms–until Christmas-day Mass the next day that is! Needless to say my 3 year old son was in his glory at the back of the church when the firemen came to check it out. He was still wearing his red fireman costume (to avoid a pre-Mass meltdown…plus…it’s red! Super Christmassy!).

Nice costume, buddy! Fist pump!

Best. Christmas. Ever.

But back to midnight Mass. When we got home around 3am (there was a celebration with treats after the Mass) we found out that the kids had already woken up, opened, partially consumed, and played with the contents of their stockings, and had gone back to sleep! Rascals! And they look so innocent…

Christmas Day was lovely. We had James’ mom and sister as well as my brother spending the day with us. “Gezellig” (cozy), as they say in Dutch, and everyone enjoyed spoiling each other a bit. My big surprise was opera tickets for La Boheme from my husband! 🙂 Date night, here we come!

I discovered that it’s really easy to cook a whole chicken in my Instant Pot (just add a cup of water or sauce and your flavourings…we put lemon, herbs, garlic and butter), and we made potatoes, yams with cinnamon and maple syrup, and Brussels sprouts, which apparently contain excellent health benefits, even if you only look at them! 😉 I can’t quite remember where I read that…

All was good until after pumpkin pie, when I totally crashed and fell asleep early. My Christmas duties were complete…so my body figured it was the perfect time to get the stomach flu that night! 😦 No fun. Thank goodness our relatives and James were still home the next day to hold the fort, because I could not move. All I really wanted for Christmas was a nap and a massage, but this was quite the price to pay…watch what you wish for!

As I lay there with a churning stomach, headache and sore muscles, I contemplated the Incarnation…how incredibly generous it was of God to enter our world as a tiny, vulnerable baby, unable to move or protect Himself from suffering. He could have remained aloof in the golden warmth of Heaven, safe from our sufferings, not subject to weakness, but chose instead to enter into our frail human existence to show us His love.

I will never comprehend the depths of His generosity!

Well, that’s about it for now! Normal life sure feels good after you’ve been sick. A breath of cold air when you can stand upright again is a real treat.

God bless you all, and best wishes for a beautiful 2019!!

Shining Eyes

At the back of the church

a woman rocks a smiling disabled boy.

Her delight in him–not even her own child–is obvious.

 

“Look at your smile,” she coos,

wiping his face with a soft rag

in a gesture that is more a caress

than anything else.

 

All this is not distraction

but divine work.

As the choir sings of the incarnation

and the boy’s eyes shine,

the woman knows she is touching

a piece of Heaven.

 

Better by Candlelight

Christmas is coming
The lights are bright
The houses are starting to sparkle

The kids and I
and Grandpa, too
trek across town
to see a Christmas concert
expecting choral beauty
and serene joy

It is….

LOUDBRIGHTGLORIOUS!!!!
FLASHYSPECTACULARWOW!!!
HOLLYWOODBROADWAYLOUD!!!
HALLELUJAHHALLELUJAHHALLELUJAH!!!

…..help!

We leave with ears ringing
and heads spinning
wowed but not wondered
overwhelmed but a little empty

Right now
with my heart a little shaky
I need a gentler kind of joy

The sparkle of a star
the flicker of a candle
that quiet choral music
that seems to be
the breath of angels

In that quiet stable
with the smell of hay
and the donkey
steaming warm air
through his soft nose
I’m more at peace

Away from all the hullabaloo
I reach for that little baby’s hand
the one who is vulnerable
who shares my weakness
who will know tears
but never lose hope

Away from all the bright lights
I’m more ok
Right now
my heart sees better
by candlelight

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