Christ is Born!
January 8th always holds a mix of emotions for me. Yesterday, we celebrated Christmas. We woke early and opened stockings and quickly left our home festivities to join in the feast day service of Nativity, At church we participated in the Divine Liturgy. We sang. We hugged our fellow parishioners and exchanged gifts. We left full of love. As my daughter said, "I wake up so excited for Christmas, and I see all our presents and I am so happy, and then we go to church and I am filled with JOY!
Celebrating Christmas two weeks after the majority of those around us can be a bit tricky. It is hard to explain (we celebrate on the "old" Julian calendar) and by New Year's most people have moved on from Christmas--evidenced by the discarded Christmas trees lining the sidewalks in our town. Yet, it also feels like a sacred time for me. A time apart, our family holding space to still drop out of everyday life and celebrate, sing, and welcome the light of Christ into our lives anew. That is what makes January 8th so hard, I want to keep everyone out of school and work the whole week afterwards to bask in the joy together, but today we all went back to life.
I am comforted because even though we return to life, Christmas isn't over. We will celebrate our twelve days of Christmas, sing carols, light our pyramida, and enjoy the foods that were off the table before the feast. Our parish Christmas party, a highlight of our year, is this coming weekend. These traditions help me each year to hold on to the beauty of Christ's Nativity. To remember that the joy of Christmas grows each day as I open my heart to the love of God, and share that love with those around me.
I am participating in the #bloginstead challenge of following and commenting on blogs for three days. If you’re interested in following along with other blogs, or joining in, visit Melinda’s Facebook page, Instagram page, or blog post. Look for the hashtags #bloginstead and #3daysinthewilds.
Source. God is love and the source of all that is good. The bounty and the beauty of nature, the light in our souls, and the beginnings of dreams all flow from this goodness.