Call us pagans, but at Christmas, we go all in. Of course we read the Christmas story...we talk about Baby Jesus and Mary and the meaning behind this precious holiday (in fact, Frances is currently in love with Mary). But we also take part in all the non-religious fun. The tree, the presents, the crafts, the elf on the shelf (ours is DeeDee), Santa, reindeer, carols with literally nothing to do with Bethlehem.
I've read lots of opinions on this, and I totally get the people who refuse to celebrate any secular aspect of the holiday. But for us, we love it all. We love the manger AND the sleigh. Our Mickey Mouse ornament hangs right by our angel. We talk about how Jesus got three gifts, then we allow our children to receive some insane multiple of that on Christmas morning. And I think that's okay. Because the thing is, it's still all about love.
It's pouring our love all over our sweet kids, with intention that is easier to make time for during this season than at any other point on the calendar. It's watching friends and family give of themselves to our children, through time and attention and gift. It's the wonder of seeing our oldest two begin to learn about the joy of giving. And every year, every day, it's about using this season to point our kids' hearts and our own toward the love of our Father. About telling and retelling the captivating nativity story. About hearing my children point to the empty manger this morning in mass and ask where Baby Jesus was, and explaining that the world excitedly waits for His arrival on Christmas Eve. It's using our meager ability to love to reflect God's perfect love for us, and relishing in this magnificent season with which we have been gifted.
Merry Christmas Week! May you and your family, however you celebrate, be filled with love and warmth.