I wanted to write a nostalgic Christmas post, so I scoured my old childhood diaries for entries dated December 24th or 25th. Here is a typical example:
So . . . not so nostalgic. What am I going to do now? Technically there is still 1 hour and 19 minutes left of Christmas (9 hours and 19 minutes, no, make that 18 minutes, if you are on American time.) So I can still get a meaningful message out to my blogworld friends just under the wire . . .
I decided to write about last night’s Christmas Eve celebration. Our family unit plus mother-in-law plus our three refugee sons. My husband and I had decided that we would keep to all our usual traditions – the wreath, the visit to dear neighbors, the incense, the tree, the toasts, the music, the candles, the presents, the feast . . .
I worried in advance if it would all be weird. There would be 8 of us:
2 devout Muslims,
1 slightly less devout Muslim, and
All together, all ostensibly celebrating the birth of Christ.
It wasn’t weird – it was wonderful. Our boys came with presents wrapped in Santa-themed paper. Their only problem in singing along to “Silent Night” was that the German version was playing (“Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht . . . “) and they only knew the English version. During dinner, we clearly identified the pork, beef, chicken and fish dishes so that everyone could observe their own religious (and culinary) traditions. As the heathen in the crowd, I have no such traditions, but, nevertheless, I religiously avoided eating the chicken. The best part of the evening was being able to hug them all – both at the tree and then when saying goodbye. Up to then, it had all been only smiles and polite handshakes.
For the past half year I have been worried about . . . (to steal from both Kate and Joan) – where is the world heading and why are we sitting in this handbasket? Yesterday made me feel better about all these questions again. Concentrate on those around you. Notice their goodness and be good to them in return.