A friend's Christmas card quotes, "May you be filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy" 1 Peter 1:8. That feeling of exuberant delight epitomizes the ultimate best wishes for our Chicago Merry Christmas. The grace and light of this season honors the birth of Jesus Christ who died for our salvation, but struggles a bit with consumerism, expectations and inevitable stress. What does this time of year mean for you?
We feel gratitude for loved ones within our faith and beyond who help build our family traditions with fun and inevitable awkward visits, most recently that happened when we were staging our Christmas tree and forgot the right setting for our heat. We were fortunate to be too hot. Now that's fixed, we're in Christmas countdown mode.
We talk about what the holiday means. Our oldest, who prepares to make his First Communion this May, explains Christmas celebrates Jesus' birth. Both boys answer they sing songs about Christmas and perform in a play about the birth of Christ to prepare for the holiday.
Since our boys attend Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy, the OLMCA community enhances the Christmas season for our family. It kicked off a few Mondays ago as we counted down to the beautiful lighting of their brilliant school Christmas decorations. The DJ played Christmas favorites and the Student Council President led us in song. Junior high kids served delicious hot chocolate. This was our family's fifth year visiting Santa at their school.
We try to remember those sweet moments when life, holiday, and family stress spike. We count our blessings of general good health despite pesky bouts of a fast and furious flu that knocked every family member down. This week, we rallied as the kids' performed Christmas songs this Tuesday night at school.
Chicago holiday bonus this year, Santa will be at their school morning open house tomorrow, Friday, December 21. Our family also looks forward to the kindergarten nativity play later tomorrow. We anticipate our oldest son's participation in their school and church choir's Annual Epiphany Concert on January 5 at 7:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church on Belmont Avenue in Chicago.
We feel blessed to share festivities and more holiday songs with family members before, during, and after Christmas. Our boys also distinguish their cousins, and extended family, as a part of their Christmas tradition.
As we'll spend time near home this Christmas we shall do our best to redirect inevitable tension and rivalry that may erupt. One dear friend reminds me that her husband leverages an active regimen with outside time for their quiet, yet hectic, days at home with three boys.
We hope to catch up with friends with some extra time off work and school. We wish you a healthy, happy, bright, and sweet Christmas. XOXO
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Filed under: faith