Thursday, December 20, 2012

O Christmas Tree

As a mother of 4 elementary school children, I immediately became anxious over the Sandy Hook school tragedy.  It’s a known fact amongst my friends and family that I purposefully do not watch the news because of the sadness that I feel from so many of the stories.  I’m not proud that I am unaware of most current events but I believe that everyone finds coping skills to get through life and this is one of mine.  It saddens me to think of the heavy hearts of all of those precious families in Connecticut!  Last Sunday, our priest discussed many of the symbols associated with the Christmas season.  He told us that the direction of the Christmas tree points to heaven.  It seems only appropriate for the tree to be a highlight for this week.

We have always put up a real tree in our house.  We have lived in our house for 11 years and the “tree” has had many locations.  As our house started filling with furniture, we had to relocate it to the foyer.  As Buddy the Elf says, “It’s GINORMOUS!”  It truly is the biggest tree that we have ever bought!  It’s beautiful and it smells great but it’s an obstacle course to enter through the front door.

As crazy as my life is right now, I still make time for some fun food for the boys.  I made cinnamon rolls shaped like a tree and a tree shaped snack made out of kiwis.  It’s so fun to take plain food and “kick it up a notch”!

Our money tree was the most creative project this week!  Money is always the perfect gift but it seems impersonal to simply put it in an envelope.  The most challenging project this week was our chocolate trees for our cake.  The big boys had a date with dad so I took the opportunity to spend some quality time with the twins.  I gave them several options and they chose to bake a cake…YIKES!  I love to cook but baking is completely different!!  It frazzles me to my core!   The cake, icing and trees were from scratch.  2 ½ hours later…it turned out perfect and was delicious!  For those of you that know me, you can imagine how much patience those little chocolate trees required!!

I’ve just started wrapping our packages and in honor of the Sandy Hook School I have chosen our Christmas tree labels to tag our packages.  I will reflect on the direction of the tree and extend a quick prayer for the families, friends and community in mourning every time I wrap a gift.  We are so fortunate to have each day with our children and loved ones…I hope that I never lose sight of our precious time together!  Peace be with you and your families.  Merry Christmas everyone…

I copied this post from a friend of mine on Facebook (Thanks Joanne!)  It's an amazing spiritual twist on ‘Twas the Night before Christmas in honor of the Newtown School.
Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.

their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.

they were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.

"where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"this is heaven." declared a small boy. "we're spending Christmas at God's house."

when what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.

He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.

and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King

and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.

and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."
then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe

then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"

"may this country be delivered from the hands of fools"
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"

then He and the children stood up without a sound.
"come now my children, let me show you around."

excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.

and I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

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