Linking up for Blogmas 2014…25 Days of Christmas. Because I LOVE Christmastime…now if it would only snow!! 🙂
When I was growing up, we decorated, baked cookies, had Christmas parties with friends, and did the whole Santa and reindeer thing. But the highlight for me was Midnight Mass. We would spend Christmas Eve at my grandma’s with my mom’s brothers and sisters and all of our cousins, visiting and opening presents. Then we would go home for awhile and try to rest before we went to Mass. It was actually at midnight, which I’m not sure if many churches do that anymore. I just remember the excitement, maybe it was just because I got to stay up late, but as I remember it now, there just seemed to be an aura of peace and joy that night. I would be wearing a new dress, and most everyone at church would be dressed up too. I loved walking into the church and seeing all the decorations, the huge brightly lit Christmas Trees, the wreaths draped with red bows, and the large nativity that was empty through the advent season up until this night. People greeted each other with genuine smiles and well wishes. Then the choir would sing all those beautiful Christmas carols, and for this one night they would add drums and a trumpet. Even though it was the same Mass we sat through Sunday after Sunday, this night, it was different…special. At the end of Mass, the choir’s finale was a resounding “Joy To the World,” that you could feel deep in your soul. At it’s very last note everyone couldn’t help but applaud, which was unheard of back then in a Catholic church…but this night was different…special. We would go out into the still night air, and it would be freezing outside, but you felt warm on the inside, and those occasions when snow would be falling, just made it complete. I knew then that Christmas wasn’t about the fancy decorations, or the presents, or the celebrating with friends and family. It was about the birth of Jesus, and having faith in God no matter what the New Year would bring.
Now that I am older and celebrate differently with my family, we still celebrate the birth of Jesus along with all the other things. But it’s the time when the year is winding down, and we anticipate the New Year and what it will bring. Even in the midst of the hustle and bustle, it’s a time of year that I feel like I can just breathe for a moment. Because it seems that during Christmastime everything is good and everyone is happy…it’s different…special.