Well, I have to say that this Christmas has been pretty good! I think not hosting the big family party really kept me from the usual exhaustion I feel on Christmas day. Instead I just feel nice and relaxed! Lots of great gifts were exchanged. Hannah gave me some nicely scently hand soaps. Will gave me a little book, Nuns Having Fun - which is hysterical. Josh gave me a very nice cookbook, Sean gave me a lovely teacup and some cinnamon apple tea and Becky gave me two little wooden bracelets and a handmade card.
Rick took the cake though. He is the best present-giver ever! Not only did he give me the set of knives I've been wanting for ages, he also gave me cute little opera glasses and a Jane Austen calendar. And then to top it all off he completely surprised me by comissioning my friend who paints ikons to paint an original ikon for us. It is gorgeous! It has the Theotokos holding the Christchild but then all around her are characters from the Old and New Testaments. Since each of the kids has an Old Testament name she has all those: Joshua, Elijah, Rebecca, Hannah, Jacob. She also included Moses and Abraham, St. John the Baptist and others too. I have to go look. The funny thing is she was over the other day and talking about how she loves the colors in our living room. I never suspected a thing but she made the colors in the painting to match; all rose and green! I was completely shocked as I never suspected a thing! It is only 70% finished; she didn't get it done quite in time but that's okay. She plans to finish it up soon. It is gorgeous and I will always treasure it, and her friendship and dear, sweet Rick who is quite possibly the best husband in the world!
So this is kind of a selfish post as I'm gloating over the gifts I got! But let me remember the homily that Monsignor Tom gave last night. His message was to live Christmas all year and that means to live life temperately, justly and devoutly. That really reasonated with me. I think that is going to be my motto for the new year; live temperately, justly and devoutly.