Before I begin, thank you for your prayers from yesterday's post. I'm feeling a bit better now and might even have a quick witted post below.
Am I the only one who still has their tree up? Sure, you can call it lazy if you want, but I think it sounds better if you call it, "living liturgical..."
Honestly, I had no real plans to leave the tree up until the 12th day after Christmas, or traditionally the Feast of the Epiphany, but now that it's still up I can tie its removal in with our other festivities. I know we celebrated it this past Sunday at Mass, but we were still out of town. Today has been a much better day to talk about what the Epiphany is to Joan and though I don't expect her to get everything, I know she's listening - she named the three little pieces of rice on the table "the three wise men" and a bean "baby Jesus."
It's still too complicated to explain the whole revelation of God as man in Christ Jesus to a two year old, so we're sticking with bringing gifts to baby Jesus because He's special...
I kept trying to come up with some sort of tradition for the Epiphany. I know of others who get their little ones another gift or special treat, but I just thought mine didn't really need anything else. So we've decided to have them pick out toys from their own room to donate. This also helped to make room for all of the new toys they got for Christmas through the generosity of our family (so let your hearts be at rest - Charlotte received actual toys this season in addition to the gifts of medicine and teething accessories from us...).
Joan actually had a fun time picking out what was going and she kept saying, "This is for the poor kids..." She coined this phrase when we'd stop to give change to the bell ringers outside of grocery stores. I'm not sure if she really understood that she wasn't getting them back, but she didn't fight me or cry when we dropped them off at the United Way for their disaster relief victims. I was explaining who they were going to and what happened to them and she just kept asking to see the "broken house."
As you can see, she was quite proud to give them away. A nice new little tradition, I think. And yes, even little Charlotte has a pile of donations - it's never too early to be charitable.
And tonight we plan to bless our home using these traditional prayers.
Impressed? Don't be. Half of this was decluttering and laziness (still having the tree up) and the other half was good intentions. But in our two weeks in LA, my enthusiasm for celebrating Advent and Christmas more liturgically faded. I thought with more help with the girls, I might be more inclined to do extra stuff but I ended up being less productive. I still have a stack of Christmas cards that didn't get mailed or handed out... Oh well, I sure enjoyed the break. I'm kind of looking forward to a time when we can just stay at our home and finish our family traditions without interruptions of travel. Come on UL, give Jude a job!
Jesus our Lord, revealer of truth and divinity, we thank you for presenting Yourself to us, both then as a baby and now in the Blessed Sacrament as bread and wine. May these revelations bring us closer to You for all eternity. Amen.