Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve we only had one hour of church. Clarissa napped through it, so I stayed home with her. Apparently church was beautiful, with lots of gorgeous musical numbers and hymns.

I prepped lunch so we could eat when everyone came home. We had quiche, leftover banana bread and a citrus salad.

After lunch we watched The Nativity, the New Line Cinema production. I adore this movie, even though the girls think it’s scary. I just think the movie does a wonderful job grounding the nativity story in earthy realism, to say nothing of the story itself.

The nativity story is so fresh, so prismatic. It is so full of irony, tenderness, joy, and deep sorrow. I can turn it in my mind over and over, every year, and learn many new things each time. This year I was reminded that finding favor in the eyes of God has literally nothing to do with earthly appearances or mortal trials.

I belong to a religious culture that sometimes confuses earthly prosperity with heavenly favor. The nativity story is a sweet rebuke to that misunderstanding. Think of Mary giving birth to the Son of God and laying him in a manger. Think about the shame Mary endured to submit to God’s will, and the faith Joseph had to share in it. Think of the slaughter of the innocents. One thing that strikes horror in my soul is the thought of all the sorrow innocent children have to endure on this earth. And yet, the slaughter of children is a part of this story, and so we know God is yet over all.

This story is a treasure, a facet of that pearl of great price spoken of in the New Testament. This is the source of my wonderment this holiday season.

After lunch we napped and then headed to the Miners for their Christmas Eve dinner and program.

Ammon trying to bat down the piñata, filled with homemade caramels.

Making and placing luminaries in the Miners’ yard.

Lydia played Silent Night  in the program PERFECTLY. That was one of the best gifts of the season, in my book.

After the Miners, we headed home. The kids fell asleep in the car so Abe wrote their Christmas letter to Santa himself. He then played Santa and turned the letter over to write the reply. 🙂

After we cleaned and put out the presents, Abe and I turned out the lights and admired the peaceful Christmas tree scene.

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