Holy Family

The Sunday between Christmas and New Year is the feast of the Holy Family—Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus, so it seems natural to celebrate the Holy Family today. Christmas is a family affair. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is a popular Christmas melody that expresses...

The Littlest Among Us

Over the weekend, my husband’s parents took our three children to church. When we returned home, my mother-in-law stated that “Father had to stop Mass.” I said, “I hope not for one of MY children.” She excitedly replied, “Yes!” and went on to tell me the story. They had wanted to sit in the...

Filipino Christmas

Every culture develops special ways for celebrating Christmas. The Christmas crèche, Christmas trees, Christmas carols, and so forth are found in various forms wherever there are Christians. In the Philippines Catholics celebrate the Christmas Novena from December 16 until the Christmas mid-night...

Advent-plus

Last weekend I got out the ladder and joined my neighbors in our annual campaign to dress up our street for Christmas. Our Jewish neighbors understandably abstain from Christmas decorations, but they’ll certainly bring refreshments to the neighborhood party. We’ve got a great sense of community...

What Are Your Blessings?

This past summer, my kids and I decided to grow a garden. We planned on growing pumpkins, zucchini, corn, sunflowers and carrots—planned being the key word. By the end of August, our garden consisted of a few carrots, some dead zucchini and pumpkin plants, no corn and some gigantic sunflowers. The carrots...

The Great Feast

As the fall and winter holidays roll around each year, I’m struck by the layers of memory that lie between the simplest things. My local nephew always hosts our Thanksgiving meal and each year we add new twists that soon become part of our tradition (here’s hoping that the emergency trip to buy a...

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