Sunday, November 27, 2011

Away in a Manger

“Away in a manger, no crib for his bed. The little Lord Jesus, laid down his sweet head.”
It's not quite heading out into the snow to cut down a tree and carry it back on the sleigh, but yeah... I went into the balcony closet this afternoon and pulled out the fake metal tree with the built in bulbs and set it into place today.
“The stars in the sky looked down where he lay, the little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.”
The girls were bouncing off the walls with excitement. We played some Christmas music, "O Holy Night," and "Hark the Herald Angels Sing!" There is nothing better than Christmas music. I could listen to it every day of the year.
“The cattle are lowing, the poor baby wakes, but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.”
Stringing up Christmas lights, doing homemade ornaments, coloring Santa pictures with pastels, it's cool spending such awesome times with my daughters all wrapped up in pajamas and hot cocoa.
“I love thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky, and stay by my side, till morning is nigh.”
We've got this "Twas the Night Before Christmas" book that my mom recorded her voice reading, the girls listen to it over and over.
“Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay, close by me forever, and love me I pray.”
A lot of my Taiwanese students ask about Christmas, they are not sure what it is about. The know it's not the holiday with the eggs and bunnies or the one with ghosts and pumpkins, but that's about it. In fact, usually Christmas is a working day here.
“Bless all the dear children in thy tender care, and take us to heaven to live with thee there.”
I take my time explaining, try to sing some carols, explain the notions of gifts and the different versions of Santa around the world... I save the real meaning for after all that, when the pictures are drawn on the chalkboard and all the videos are shown, then I whisper it to them, how this little baby came into the world with a gift and a destiny. How it's not about the shiny lights or the fancy ribbons, how it's about love, the beginning of love introduced into the world. I think, in the end, that's what we all need, still.

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