After Christmas dinner yesterday we brought two of our young grandsons home for a few days of "mini cousins camp." They are, as I write this, playing games together and then we are off to see a movie. Afterwards we will pick up two local little girl cousins and come home for an indoor picnic with hot dogs roasted in the fireplace followed by s'mores.
Is there any better way to enjoy the Christmas season than to spend it building family ties among cousins? I read an article the other day about young people who hate going home for Christmas because of all the stress and family tensions. How sad. I can relate, of course, because every family has those difficult challenges. But our Christmas this year with three of our children and their families was lovely. The children all got along (all eleven of them) -- not one squabble. The grownups got along too. We sat and talked while we did our dinner preps, sat together at a long table laid out with festive garb sharing favorite Christmas memories, cleaned up together, and then played Catch phrase. It was a source of much merriment as we teased each other for our silly clues. For the life of me I can't remember who won -- guys or gals.
We ended the evening opening up gifts. Isn't that a switch -- to leave the gift giving to the end. Of course all the families had their own celebrations in the morning so this was gifts from godparents to godchildren and grandparents to the families and theirs to us.
The entire day was lovely and the fun continued in the car on the way home as we played the "people game" with the boys who were baffled by the "priest" in the white cassock. Oh my goodness...who knew...the pope is a priest? I am still smiling as I think of it. At home we lit the Advent wreath with the Christ candle in the middle and prayed the Nativity decade of the rosary and other night prayers.
Christmas -- the way it's meant to be. God bless us every one.