House of Literature Bookmobile

This is the place I share book (movie) selections and reviews I have found worth mentioning. I'll also share gleanings of family life, faith, home education, and ongoing writing projects. Book selections will include children's books, books on home education, Catholic books, classics, series, raising children, and books that are made for reading under a shady oak tree with lemonade, in a bubble bath with a latte', or next to a snuggly fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa. Happy Reading!

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Christ Child Prepare Us

Christmas Without Santa ~ The Christ Child Still Comes

A friend of mine sent me this last week with the brief message:

"This is a beautiful story. I've read it three times now, and it brings a tear to my eye each time."

There was one family visitor in our house yesterday who blatantly pronounced, "I hate Christmas." Of course, taken in context, she said it in the mist of a conversation over gift-shopping, prices, and commercialism. I believe most people hate the commercialism; but that is not the same as hating Christmas. And words need to be watched when said within a room where there are little pitchers with big ears.

I made a pact with myself years ago when my oldest son was only three months old and celebrating his first Christmas. I heard a lady in the store tell her young daughter, "I hate Christmas."

I made an oath never to utter those words and always to make joyous the Christmas season. So I decorate. I shop. I wrap. I bake. I read Christmas stories. I give the Nativity top priority in the living area. I have family and friends over at my house. And I remind myself that it is all done for love of family, to better help them herald in the birth of Christ.

Of my own preparation, I see many things lacking. A candle remains unlit on the Advent wreath. The Christ child was not placed in the manger before we all trooped off to bed (so it was reverently done by one of the children on Christmas morning). My girls wore nice dresses to Midnight Mass but they were not new as we never got to make the annual dress shopping trip. There are books unfinished, plans not completed.

Reading this article, I realize what was lacking in my plans. All these plans are materalistic planning. They are the candy, not the cake. They are the things that the secular world is doing. This article reminds me that to focus on the Christkind remains the central focus.

In the scream of secular holiday preparation, we don't listen closely enough to the whisper of the Christkind. It's there. We know it's there; we hear it. But the scream of the world overtakes us. We bury ourselves in Christmas wrappings and decorations and forget that the main thing is the main thing.

It's found in the Nativity Scene of every Catholic, Christian house in this great world. The preparation should be more so on the practice of virtue. Who would Christ want us to be? What virtues did Joseph exhibit? What virtues did Mary teach us by example? What virtues did we focus on this Advent? What virtues do we focus on this new year?

Thus, comes the true rejoicing! Now! Don't worry about any books unread or any plans not completed. We have till Epiphany to celebrate the birth of Christ and to herald the good news. Focus on virtues. Focus on Christkind. Focus on what is true and real.

Christmas is not over. It has only begun.


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