I went home to be with my family on Christmas Eve. We went to mass together, ate tacos, and played. All of my brothers and sisters are home from school, so it was the usual organized chaos. I am not exactly sure how it came about, but my dad dug out as many Christmas ties as he could find and we all wore one for the evening. Mom thought it might be a bit of a distraction at mass, but the singing tie didn't go off until the closing hymn, and at that point no one could hear it above "Joy to the World" so I didn't hear any complaints. Plus my dad always has enough candy canes in his inside coat pocket for all of the kids (and some of the adults) so the ties were just the beginning.
Our usual tradition is to open presents on Christmas morning. I remember years ago sneaking out of bed at 4:00 in the morning to get an early peak at the gifts Santa had brought. We would try to get a bit more sleep before dragging my parents out of bed around 6:30. This year we had to sick the dog on some of the siblings to get them to get up at 8:30. It is fun now to be able to take our time a little more and actually see some of the presents others are getting as they open them. Then for a big breakfast and time to enjoy our presents and each other.
One game that we played that was different than usual was living Clue. We each had a place, person, and weapon card and worked throughout the days to eliminate one another from the game. My brother Joey got me in the hallway with his toothbrush. My brother John was taken out on the back patio with a bottle of shampoo. I think there were four people still in the game when I left this afternoon. I wonder if I could get the game to work here in the motherhouse...?
The Novitiate Community here is celebrating Christmas together Thursday night with breakfast for supper, a few gifts, and prayer. A larger community retreat will take us up to New Years. And parties in the house will continue into January. I am glad Christmas is an ongoing celebration. Hopefully the spirit and light will take us long into the new year.