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Silent Night, Holy Night

As I've rocked Mateo to sleep in my arms for the past few weeks, I've found myself singing to him Christmas carols. Those traditional songs we'd sing at midnight mass: Away in a Manger, Hark the Harold Angel Sings, The First Noel. Did you ever think about how the songs we sing to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus sound so much like lullabies?

Christmas Eve is going to look quite different this year, without the large gathering of family we're accustomed to, without children's holiday pageants, without breakfast potlucks, without midnight mass. I feel almost as if I'm reciting a new edition of How Corona Stole Christmas...

    “And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before." 



The underlying message behind the famous Dr. Seuss story, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" is that excessive consumerism literally consumes the holiday season, and while I do believe that capitalism has commandeered Christmas, that's not quite my point here. Rocking sleepy Mateo in my arms and trying to lull him with lullaby-like carols, I think about that true meaning of Christmas. I'm reminded of another quotation I saw on Facebook recently. It said, "The first Christmas was pretty simple. It's okay if yours is, too."


So as I hold my baby boy and sing him to sleep, I can't help but reflect upon the First Christmas, where a young mother had just given birth alone, in a foreign land, in a drafty barn. She was living in dangerous, uncertain times, too. She must have been overwhelmed with fear, elation, exhaustion. She knew then that the baby she held was special and destined for great things. He would grow to be King of Kings. But in that moment she had no idea the trajectory his life would take, and just like any mother, he would always be her baby.


While Mateo isn't a newborn infant anymore, he still nurses and cuddles to sleep. Sometimes I can't believe how big he is getting, and then in the next moment he still seems so little. But it brings me the most comfort to lull him into dreamland, while singing the story of another baby boy, whose birth we celebrate this month, and who entered the world in the most humble way.

From humble beginnings, come great things. 

**Wise men still seek Him.**



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