"God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
(1 Jn 4:16)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

December 24 saw my eldest son and his sisters shoveling snow from behind our van, so that we could all go to Midnight Mass.

After the children finished clearing some of the snow, I tried to back the van out of the driveway, but failed. Thus, I cleared snow until Elizabeth needed me. When my husband came home from work, he shoveled the remainder of the snow from behind the van. However, our efforts were for naught because our van still could not make it onto our street. Being the wonderful man he is, my husband proceeded to shovel the snow from behind our smaller car. We had agreed that if the van could not make it out of our street, then he would take the older children to Midnight Mass. We were disappointed that we could not all go, but I knew that, like me, my husband and children were really looking forward to assisting at the first Christmas Eve Mass at North American Martyrs.

While they were at Mass, I was busy at home, putting the younger children to bed, etc. Eventually, I fell asleep. I woke with a start when I heard my oldest son say, "We are going to Heaven, tonight." At that point, I started to pray intensely. I knew that my husband had been waking extra early, all week, to walk 30 minutes to catch one of the few operating buses and I could not help worrying. I was overwhelmed with relief when I heard our garage door open.

From my room, I heard the children commenting on what they saw when they came upstairs.

Eventually, I forced myself out of bed and wandered into the kitchen. My husband told me that he had fallen asleep at the wheel and woke when the car drifted into a snowbank on the side of the road. I told him and the children why I was awake and I thanked God for keeping them safe. The conversation changed to the Mass and my eldest son shared, "It was the best Mass that I have ever been, too." Bernadette stated, "I felt like I was in Heaven." We eventually made our way to bed (the children decided to sleep in the living room).

Around 7:00 a.m. on Christmas morning, we all wandered into the living room and the children sang their traditional "Happy Birthday" to Baby Jesus.

After they finished singing, we opened presents. The children were pleased with their gifts from St. Nicholas, their grandparents, and godparents. Favorites are shown below.

My husband then worked on putting the turkey in the oven. After doing so, we got ready to go to Mass locally. My heart longed to have gone to the Tridentine Rite Midnight Mass, but I was happy to even be able to go. We returned home and everyone relaxed while Catherine and I made the final dinner preparations. The other children had made the jello mold and the stuffing on Christmas Eve day (it has paid to have my children help me in the kitchen from a very young age). The meal was delicious, thanks to my family.

We pray that everyone has a happy and blessed Christmastide!

Gaudete Christus est natus!

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