Skip to main content

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.**



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why my Children Won't Believe in Santa Claus

Tonight all across the world, children are waiting for Santa with bated breath. They've made lists of wants and perhaps written letters addressed to the North Pole, baked cookies, set out milk, and dream of sugar plums dancing in their heads. But not my children. Well, maybe the dreaming of sugar plums part, but definitely not the white beard, chubby and plump right jolly old elf part. Even before my two biological children were born, my husband and I made the decision to not deceive them with the narrative of Santa, and in fact, not give them any gifts at all on Christmas. Intrigued? Infuriated? Here's why... My husband is from Guatemala and was raised Jehovah Witness , and one of the tenants of that faith is a strict adherence to not celebrating anything here on earth. This includes not celebrating Christmas or birthdays , and not giving gifts to commemorate these days. While he isn't a practicing Witness right now (instead we attend Celebration International Church

Why My Daughter Won't Be Attending Preschool

There's no doubt that the first five years of a child's life are formative and indicative of later success throughout their lives. As an educator, I know preschool can play an important part in the cognitive and social development of toddlers. However, in this unprecedented time of pandemic life, social distancing and remote learning, sending your child to preschool is a personal decision that varies by family. And our family has decided not to send our daughter to preschool.  The research on the benefits of preschool is irrefutable, and there have been incentives for families to enroll their children in preschool since the 1960's and 1970's. Many BIPOC families have actually been targeted and encouraged to send their children to preschool, with HeadStart and other free programs available. According to a DOE report , access to high-quality preprimary education can be the key that unlocks education equality across races, geography and income.  With all of my experience a

Apple Picking without Discrimination

In New England, apple picking is the quintessential fall fun activity. I actually didn't know going to an orchard to pick your own apples was a pastime until I moved to Boston, but after I went with my youth group during my freshman year of college I was hooked, and I've been apple picking with friends or family every fall since. I have beautiful memories of walking up and down rows of apple-laden (or sometimes picked bare!) trees, trying to climb to the top and always searching for the shiniest, juiciest apples. Even one of Francisco and my first dates was apple picking.  In my 15 years of residency on the East Coast, I've visited a variety of apple orchards in New England nearly every autumn and a few years ago, I thought I had finally found the perfect place. Tougas Family Farm had everything you wanted for your perfect fall afternoon--apple and pumpkin picking, fresh apple cider and donuts, kettle corn, a petting farm, a hayride, and a playground for the kids. But it al