Twas the Sunday before Christmas, and all through through the parish, not a soul was stirring, not even the ladies who change the candles…. Ok, wait, the candle ladies are always working.
I’ll repeat last week’s exhortation to carefully pick your Christmas Mass! The Christmas eve Masses are crazy packed, most especially (and worrisomely) the 4pm here at the church. So what not come come on Christmas morning? The Masses on Christmas morning are far more prayerful than the ones on Christmas eve because you are not wrestling with the fire marshal!
But, you ask, what about our family traditions?
Change is possible: the Mosimann family Christmas followed this same basic pattern going all the way back to my childhood: Masses at 9 AM, big feast breakfast, then the gift exchange one by one, big dinner, finally ending with Birthday cake for Jesus and Christmas carols. But as we have grown, and I became a priest, and 23 nieces and nephews were born… it became too much family and gift giving to fit into one day without collapsing with exhaustion at 1 am!
Two years ago I finally managed to cajole a change in our Christmas schedule: the unmarried siblings, my parents, and I moved our the gift exchange to the AM of Dec 26th! We now have a few calmer minutes of rest and conversation before my parents house is taken over by 23 nieces and nephews and and now their dozen+ children! It took several years of negotiations and bargainings, but this change to out day has stretched the celebration out longer, and made it much, much more enjoyable! Christmas really is an eight day celebration.
If I can change my Christmas traditions, anything is possible.
Oh, and yes, if you insist that ‘early is the only way,’ then in the words of the Christmas carol… “God Bless You.”
Pax et Bonum,