We have tried recently to de-emphasize the commercial aspects of Christmas and make it meaningful in a deeper sense. Our tradition of attending the Christmas Eve service then standing in the Trinity Methodist Nativity has been precious to me and broken only by these trips to NYC. On both earlier trips we have spent Christmas Eve at church (2004 at Marble Collegiate Church and 2008 at the Catholic Church of Saint Paul the Apostle near Central Park). We were just too tired to go out to a Christmas Eve service last night. We'll see Les Miserables, the movie, today. To me that is a religious experience. We might make a Christmas Day service somewhere this morning, but I'm the only early riser in my family (Can you hear the snores?), so that's doubtful. I s'pose I could get out myself to one of the Greek Orthodox churches in this neighborhood. That would be a new experience for me.
I am thankful to be able to spend Christmas 2012 with my much-loved daughters and their mother whom I adore. I could never adequately explain my feelings for them but here is a little effort at that I wrote for them one Christmas when the girls were very small:
What gifts will you bring your Papa?
Pure gold, however they’re made—
Wrapped in sunshine of smiles;
Tied up with love that won’t fade.
What gift will you bring your Lover?
Its rich, whatever you’ve spent,
You’ve paid thrice in sweat and tears
and my promises, broken or bent.
What gifts can I bring my daughters?
What present is worthy my wife?
Tawdry trinkets diamonds would seem
On these precious true-treasures of life.
Happy Christmas to all my friends and loved ones. We hate to miss the Shaw Christmas tomorrow at Mother's house --- our flight won't get in till 9 pm or so. Y'all have fun!