Monday, December 03, 2007

Christmas Presence

Advenio ~ to come (Latin)

Yesterday was the first Sunday after November 30, the feast of St. Andrew, which means that we have entered the season of Advent. Christmas is three weeks from tomorrow.

It always seems a surprise when the calendar suddenly arrives at Christmas time. We may stop to reflect upon another year fading into the mists of time as we hurry forward into the future, but more often we are caught up in the bustle of the season. There are so many extra chores and errands, so many social events and commitments, that it's sometimes a challenge to catch our breaths and remember that this is yet another golden opportunity to be present to our loved ones at a special time of year.

Two years ago, my children and I shared our last Christmas with Pete, my husband, their father. Last year, we journeyed to Ireland to blunt the edge of his first Christmas absence. This year, Kristine will spend Christmas with her two grandmothers and family, on the east coast. I will travel with Matt and his fiancee to share the holiday with her family in the midwest.

None of us will do much shopping. Presents are largely secondary to the real Christmas gift. Through our shared loss, we have learned the inestimable value of Christmas presence. May all of us be wise enough to take time to give that priceless gift to our loved ones this year.