(Well, the world didn’t end today. Here are my 7QT for December 21st, submitted just before December 22nd – the day the world finally shut up about the Mayan apocalypse.)
— 1 —
Learn from my huge parenting mistake: do NOT tell your kids that the big brown boxes from the UPS truck are full of gifts for them. Here I thought “Oh look, the kids can enjoy hopeful anticipation.” Wrong. They are far too young to enjoy any degree of waiting. ”But MOMMY – it’s Christmas time RIGHT NOW. It snowed yesterday, Mommy. And we have a tree.”
I thought that pointing out the Advent calendar might help – you know, to remind them that we can’t open gifts until all the candies are gone. ”Mommy, we want ALL THE CANDIES NOW.”
— 2 —
Speaking of kids and Christmas, riddle me this. My husband and I don’t teach our children that Santa is real. We celebrate Santa as a fictional story like any other fairy tale, but for a variety of reasons we’ve opted out of bringing Santa to life through Christmas morning theatrics. Our older daughter is homeschooled and does not attend daycare, so imagine my surprise when she told me all about how Santa is coming to bring her gifts on Christmas! This has happened more than once and in different contexts. It’s like she is filling in the blanks all by herself. Remarkable, I tell you.
My siblings don’t particularly appreciate that we’re not lying to our kids like all the other decent parents out there, so perhaps I need to interrogate them. Hmm….
— 3 —
Over the past few weeks, I’ve come to realize that the secular world is celebrating Christmas all wrong. How cliche, I know. Fear not, I’ll spare you a rant about the commercialization of Christmas or some other related issue. Rather, I’m referring to the actual calendar of the holiday season itself. It’s typical nowadays to celebrate Christmas beginning after Thanksgiving. People customarily put up their tree, finish their shopping, sing carols, and do other Christmassy things until December 25th. The celebrations usually cease entirely on December 26th. Unfortunately we’re confusing this time with Advent, which is the season we’re in right now. The Christmas season doesn’t end on December 25th – it’s merely beginning! Indeed, Christmas Day is not “the 12th day of Christmas,” but the first. Don’t tell the big box stores, but they’re really missing out on some extra weeks of Christmas sales!
Of course, this isn’t news to everyone. Perhaps its only an epiphany to me (haha, get it?). In any case, I look forward to the opportunity to redefine the Christmas season this year. Instead of packing up the tree next week, we’ll think of some ways to keep our celebration going for days to come. It always did feel so wrong to end “Christmas” so abruptly!
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I had a really, really wonderful doctor’s appointment this week. My 20-week anatomy ultrasound confirmed that everything about our son appears healthy and normal. There is always potential to identify abnormalities at this point in a pregnancy so I said a prayer of thanksgiving to God for the blessing of another healthy child. The woman who did my ultrasound was so fantastic. She took some amazing images and video of Jameson as he moved around, yawned, and proudly showed off his male anatomy. (Let it be known that there is absolutely no doubt that this child is a boy. I still can’t look at some of those images without laughing!)
Here’s to 20 more weeks of uncomfortable sleeping, limited clothing choices, and impatience topped only by that of my Christmas-obsessed toddlers.
— 5 —
Please join me in supporting Father Luke Suarez of Newtown, Connecticut. Father Luke, a newly-ordained Catholic priest, has had an unimaginable week as he laid to rest many of the child victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. According to his sister, Father Luke carried out two funerals and two wakes each day this week (including tomorrow, Saturday). Will you please pray for Father Luke and also consider sending him one of your family’s Christmas cards? Follow the link to read a plea from his sister. If anyone could use some Christmas cheer, it’s Father Luke. May the Lord give him strength.
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Here is a recent example of Church discipline in action. This is how authority is supposed to play out, by the way. I suspect we’ll be seeing more examples of this in the coming months. Prayers for Fr. Palacios, that he may come to recognize the error of his ways and eventually return to his duties in the holy priesthood.
— 7 —
After the Christmas festivities have calmed down (though not necessarily the season, of course!), I’m eager to continue my series about the Eucharist from a sola scriptura standpoint. In the meantime, here’s another recommendation from the Blogs Better than Mine file: David L. Gray: a Fresh Catholic Perspective. I found David’s blog through a National Catholic Register link and have really enjoyed his postings thus far. He has some great stuff to say, particularly in a time period that is proving to be not so kind to the Church.
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary.