It’s almost Christmas! I’m hustling around trying to finish up my last minute gifts and pack for a week of traveling to see several family members. And in the meantime, I’m trying to quiet my heart and prepare for Christmas properly. This is for my own benefit, as well as my children’s- so they don’t remember holiday time as mom running about like a headless chicken time.
Have I mentioned that my mom-in-law is 100% Italian? She’s the real deal, and she makes a mean lasagna for Christmas dinner each year. I’ll be privileged to enjoy both her company and her good cooking on Christmas day- lots of family members around, chatter and laughter, the radiant heat of the wood stove, and a kitchen brimming with homemade sauce, noodles, and cheese. And meatballs. You can’t forget the meatballs.
Which brings us to our reading for the week. When I saw this recipe for ricotta cheese cookies, I couldn’t help but think of the Italian side of my family I married into. I’m not sure if my Mama Z has made them, but we just may have to try them (if there’s any cheese that didn’t make it into the lasagna!)
How about The Twelve Days of Christmas– have you ever wondered what’s up with the tradition or the song? I thought Christmas was only one day! Head on over to Celebrating Holidays to read up on the history of the twelve days- both the celebrations and the songs. You can learn something new every day!
The last link is Christmas and the Wealth of Tradition. I loved how Rebekah described how traditions and symbols can help us to remember and focus in on the Scripture’s story of Christ’s birth. While the symbols are never to take precedence over the story itself, they can serve as reminders and directors to our straying hearts.
I think how J doesn’t understand every nuance of every Bible story- but he sees the symbols at church and in our home. The nativity scene we complete. The advent wreath. The purple banners reminding us of royalty- the coming of the king. Communion. The picture of the lamb, reminding us that Jesus was God’s special sacrificial Lamb. J doesn’t understand it all yet- but he sees the symbols and asks. And we get to explain and take him back to the Bible and where the symbols come from. All of it serves as a reminder for him, but they do just as much for us- we adults who are so prone to forget!
I hope that your holiday week is peaceful and beautiful, and that you too can focus in on why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.