Saturday, December 24, 2011

Poem of the Month: December 2011

"The Nativity" by Brian Kershisnik. I have this painting above my piano right now for the month of December. It's long been one of my favorites.
Today has been both a peaceful and a busy Christmas Eve. I want to leave it with the poem of the month, "Love Came Down at Christmas" by Christina Rossetti. This poem doesn't need much explication, which works well for me tonight. In fact, you've probably heard it before because it's been put to music countless times by a number of different groups and in a number of variations, from gospel to the Jars of Clay's album. As for me, I love the sound of this poem. I also love that Rossetti uses "Love" instead of one of Christ's many other names. It emphasizes for me what Christmas really is--not all those presents I finished wrapping--but love, the love of a divine father and mother for their children, the love of an older brother, a Savior. And so, on Christmas, we celebrate the sacred sign, the token, the plea, the gift:  Love for all. What could be better? Absolutely nothing.

Love Came Down at Christmas
~Christina Rossetti

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, love divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and to all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Twenty-one down

and not many left to go.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Tradition, Tradition!"

(Please sing the title to this post in your best Tevye voice.)

I decided this year that, although traditions are well and good, it seems like we have too many Christmas traditions. It's no good when your traditions stress you out. I think the Disneyland trip made us try to squash the rest of the traditions into too short of a time span. But anyway, we still had fun with them.

Every year we go up to Williams, Arizona, which is by the Grand Canyon, and ride the Polar Express and spend the night in a hotel. I love this tradition. But this year, it was marred by H's TERRIBLE cold. The child could not breathe and therefore, he could not sleep, and therefore, I could not sleep and J could not sleep, and therefore, we were a bit grumpy. But the train ride itself was really fun:


Okay, I can't figure out blogger's new interface and what it's doing to my pictures (which I keep trying to tile), but oh, well. Next tradition: Sweet and I went to the Nutcracker. We sat on the front row of the balcony this year so she could see better. It was really relaxing and fun and once again, she spent the majority of the performance planning which role she would take next year. 

And we made our annual gingerbread house. We tried not to let H touch too many pieces of the candy since his cold was till going full force.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Disneyland Delight

The week after Thanksgiving, we took a kind-of, spur-of-the-moment trip to Disneyland with grandparents and cousins. Initially, I wondered if it would be worth spending the money to go when we'd just gone in the spring and I worried about the weather holding up (last December it rained the ENTIRE time we were in southern California). But I'm so glad we went. Spending 3 days there instead of 1 was so relaxing, and the Christmas decorations and parade were spectacular. Plus, spending time with family can't be beat. So get ready for a mother-load of pics:

This series of pics were taken after we got stuck on Splash Mountain and were escorted off through the ride. It was actually really fun.

Wiped out at Grandma and Grandpa's house:

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Good thing, since it's NINE days away. (How did that happen?!) Anyway, we have been decked out for the holidays for a couple of weeks now. I just haven't made the time to blog about it. But Christmas-y we are, from our nails to our halls.
I thought H would dig decorating the tree, but he didn't have a lot of interest. Most of the time he did this:
I did still get a few pics of him learning how to hang the ornaments (even though taking them off is what he does best). And as the family lightweight, he was the official Star Placer this year.
No pics of the tree lot this year--we tried a Costco tree, and you don't get to see it unfurled until you bring it home, so it's kind of a gamble. But I'm happy with it. I'm not picky, as long as it smells nice and fresh. I LOVE the Christmas tree.