Christmas, Homeschooling

Pirates and Children: Both Belong at the Christmas Manger

Pirates & children both belong at the Christmas manger: A Christmas reflection from the Oaxacaborn blog

The kitchen lights are switched on, the dishes are in the sink, the washing machine is whirring, there’s laundry on the floor, and I’m leaning over a to-do list, panicking over the tickle in my throat and how much I have to do this week. Aveline is in the living room in her pajamas, kneeling down on the brown and grey rug in front of the little stable of twigs and moss that’s held together with nails, kneeling there in front of the baby Jesus.

She’s singing — not reciting, but singing — words as they come to her. The music is so pure and so real and so full of worship. She runs off, and comes back pulling a pirate ship behind her. “The Lalaloopsy would like to worship Jesus!” she shouts. “The pirates would like to worship!”

Because that’s how it should be, you know — no, no, that’s how it is. He didn’t come just for the shepherds of ancient yore, to be tucked neatly into a storybook and a creche to decorate our mantles and our church foyers. He didn’t come to live forever safely next to the haloed holy family statutes. He didn’t come for the perfect, for the sinless saints, for the angels in the winter sky. No, he came for all of humanity, all of us, every single one in every corner of the world.

He’s here for the blue-haired Lalaloopsy,

for the homeless woman

for the broken-down and grieving

for the sword-wielding pirates,

for the angry GI Joe

for the stowaways and the untouchables, and

for me.

And here I am, like Martha, “distracted by all the preparations that had to be made” [1], in danger of taking this miracle for granted.

So come. Come, everyone one of us. Just as we are — with our baggage and our stress and our burdens and our imperfections — come. Here’s here.

Oh, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

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Christmas

CHRISTMAS :: Printable ‘Made by Joel’ Paper City Nativity Scene

Made-by-Joel-Paper-City-Nativity-Scene-1

If you need me, I’ll be printing out this amazing paper nativity scene for Aveline to “color-color”. Thanks, Made by Joel!

[UPDATE: She loves it! Please excuse the sloppy, out-of-the-lines job I did with the scissors. She was quite literally climbing up my person while I was cutting the shapes out.]Aveline's version of the Made by Joel Paper Nativity

Christmas, Poetry & Words

CHRISTMAS :: It is as if Infancy were the Whole of Incarnation (Lucy Shaw)

I first read this poem years ago. Lucy Shaw’s powerful words have stayed with me, a reminder to look up from the cradle and worship the risen King, who we are celebrating today.

Merry Christmas, friends! He was born so we could live.

“One time of the year
the new-born child
is everywhere,
planted in madonnas’ arms
hay mows, stables
in palaces or farms,
or quaintly, under snowed gables,
gothic angular or baroque plump,
naked or elaborately swathed,
encircled by Della Robia wreaths,
garnished with whimsical
partridges and pears,
drummers and drums,
lit by oversize stars,
partnered with lambs,
peace doves, sugar plums,
bells, plastic camels in sets of three
as if these were what we need
for eternity.

But Jesus the Man is not to be seen.
We are too wary, these days,
of beards and sandalled feet.

Yet if we celebrate, let it be
that he
has invaded our lives with purpose,
striding over our picturesque traditions,
our shallow sentiment,
overturning our cash registers,
wielding his peace like a sword,
rescuing us into reality
demanding much more
than the milk and the softness
and the mothers warmth
of the baby in the storefront creche,
(only the Man would ask
all, of each of us)
reaching out
always, urgently, with strong
effective love
(only the Man would give
his life and live
again for love of us).

Oh come, let us adore him-
Christ–the Lord.”
Lucy Shaw