1. So it’s the end of the Christmas season. I sometimes feel confused about when Christmas is “officially” over in our church. This article, “Does Christmas End on Epiphany?” explains that the Christmas season is different in almost every Catholic rite, and that’s why it can be confusing!
But, for our family, Christmas is ending today. We had fun visits from both grandparents this week (I can’t believe I didn’t get one picture!) and they are heading home now, and hopefully we will get the lights down and boxes put away before the day is over.
2. New Year’s Eve–we gave the older kids the option of staying up with us until midnight (a first for all of them). We played Clue and watched the Sugar Bowl and It’s a Wonderful Life. Ben and Marie made it to the end of the Sugar Bowl. But the other two were still going strong when the ball dropped.
Out in the country, there’s no rule against firecrackers!
3. This Advent we watched The Nativity Story with our children. Except for Mary’s sullen teenage attitude prior to the Annunciation, I think it’s a pretty good film. It does portray the slaughter of the children of Bethlehem, which was a bit intense and made a couple of the kids cry. On their memorial feast day, the Feast of the Holy Innocents, which is a few days after Christmas, William said, “Today we have to be extra nice to Teddy because the babies Herod killed were just like him.” Then he sat down and read Teddy The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
4. We saved a last gift for Epiphany Sunday. We’ve done that for a couple of years now, but the kids always forget about it, so it’s a nice end-of-Christmas surprise.
5. We also squeezed in some ice-skating before the holidays ended, another first for the kids. We tried to go to the outdoor ice rink last year, but it warmed up suddenly and all the ice started to melt. Winter in Houston!
6. This blog post from the The Wine-Dark Sea was one of the most helpful things I read this Christmas. All the smiling faces in our pictures are real, but it’s good for me to be reminded that making all these happy memories means ordinary things like laundry and dishes are going to get backed up. That is just life!
Speaking of which, I think I’m going to play the homeschooling card tomorrow and celebrate MLK Jr. Day a week early to let a sick baby recover from all the holiday excitement and (hopefully) get some planning for the spring semester completed.
7. Like most everyone who reads Conversion Diary, I let the Saints’ Name Generator pick a patron saint for me for the new year. I’ve done this for the past couple years, and it’s always interesting how the saint’s story always has some relevance for my life that year. Last year my saint was St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, mother of 5 and Catholic school teacher.
This year my saint is St. Walburga. St. Who? She’s very obscure now, but actually very well-known to me! Nathaniel and I spent part of our honeymoon in the guest house of the beautiful Abbey of St. Walburga in the mountains of northern Colorado.
St. Walburga was an Anglo-Saxon missionary to the Germans in the 700s. She went to Germany with her uncle St. Boniface, who is famous for chopping down a huge oak tree that was sacred to the pagan priests there. When he wasn’t immediately struck dead by the gods, the people listened to what he had to say.
So…what does that mean for my life this year? Maybe that we need to take a trip to Colorado!
And that makes seven, which means I can join Jen and the other quicker takers over at Conversion Diary. Better late than never!