Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Puer Natus in Bethlehem

Merry Christmas to all! (Since it's only the 5th day of Christmas, I can still say that.) Well, my true love didn't give me 5 gold rings today, but he did give me one gold ring on November 20, and that's good enough for me. :)

Our Christmas was wonderful! We went to church at 9:00 a.m. Christmas morning, after waking up early to open presents. The sermon was great! One thing that was mentioned that really struck me, that I hadn't though of before, was the fittingness of Christ's lying in a manger. A manger is a feeding trough, so Christ's lying in one would seem to indicate that He is food of some sort. And indeed, as He later proclaims in John chapter 6, "I am the Bread of life." He is our food, and we indeed eat His flesh as commanded when we receive the most blessed Eucharist.

I had another thought while singing "What Child is This", provoked by the line "whom shepherds guard and angels sing." We all know that shepherds watch over sheep. So it's fitting that shepherds should be the first to come and behold the Lamb of God.

One final symbolism of the nativity story that comes to mind, especially with the Epiphany coming up, is that of the gifts of the Magi. They presented the Christ child with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Gold is appropriate because Christ is a King; frankincense (a type of incense) is appropriate because He is God (from ancient times incense was offered in many religions to the deity[ies] worshipped by them), and myrrh, a very bitter-smelling spice, is appropriate because it foreshadows the bitterness of His Passion. If you sing all the verses of "We Three Kings", you'll see how the middle three verses describe these gifts and their symbolism.

Anyway, to get back to our Christmas: a few people organized a choir for morning Mass, comprised mostly of my in-laws, with a couple other additions. Of course I sang in it, and we managed to pull together some nice music, including "Gaudete" and "Alma Redemptoris Mater". Good times. For Christmas dinner we were invited to Anthony's parents' house, an invitation which we gladly accepted. Dinner was delicious - a pork roast of some sort. Anthony's whole family, with the exception of his older brother, were all home, and his grandparents, an uncle and aunt, and the parish priest, were all there as well. It was a wonderful evening.

We had a brunch for Anthony's family at our house the next morning, after which we all swung over to Anthony's cousins' house to party, eat, and have fun for the rest of the afternoon. I spent most of the time there learning how to play a card game called Pinochle. It's a lot of fun, and bears some resemblance to games such as Spades and Hearts in that one tries to take tricks.

Monday afternoon we went to Anthony's family's house for lunch, as his other grandma was visiting from Ten Sleep, WY. And then to top off the day, that evening we and Anthony's family went to some friends' house for another dinner. Whew! It was a lot of partying that whole Christmas weekend. Fortunately we've had a couple of days off from social obligations now, though that will probably soon change as New Year's is this weekend. I expect there will be some kind of bash going on up the hill at Anthony's family's place.

The weather here is cold, as is to be expected, I suppose. The lows a couple of nights this week are -6 degrees F. B-r-r-r. I'm not used to this! Tonight thru tomorrow night there is snow expected, however, so it's not all bad. And also, prolonged periods of cold mean frozen-over ponds, and that means ICE SKATING! :) We indulged in that activity several times last week, and it was FUN! My first time on a frozen pond and not at a rink. Anthony's family claimed that the pond we were at was one of the smoother ones, but it was still quite bumpy and imperfect when compared with a rink. Oh well, I got used to the surface, and had a blast attempting to play hockey. :D

I hope you all had a good Christmas Day and are having a blessed Christmas season! Remember, it's 12 whole days long!! :)

Pax in Christo!


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