All is calm, all is bright

Mom and I both agree that "Silent Night" is the best Christmas Carol. It's just so gosh-darn pretty!

We had a different sort of Christmas this year and it was really nice. This was my parents and my "off year" where my sisters spend Christmas with their in-laws. Since I'm partner-less and kid-less, I instead spent Christmas with my parents. It was...quieter.

(But I did miss the manic time that happens when the whole family is together. Deanna jokes that our family is bipolar when we all get together. The more we joke about, the more I think it's completely accurate.)

Just about every year we have a big discussion about which Christmas Eve mass we will attend and before it even begins we all know that the midnight mass (Mom's favorite choice) will not be the winner. Despite knowing this information I tried yet again. "But dad, we haven't gone in years! And we may not have the chance to do it again for many more years because we don't have grandkids around this year!" We grudgingly settled on the 8:30 service yet again but Christmas Eve dinner at a friend's house ran late with singing Christmas carols and rather than leave abruptly to get to mass on time, we enjoyed the evening. Totally by accident we went to the "midnight mass" (now at 10:30 PM).

Nativity at my parent's church, Holy Apostles

Yes, I probably haven't been to a midnight mass in over 10 years and I have totally forgotten the appeal. I've fought for it because I know my mom loves it but didn't really know why. The mass really was beautiful. The music was phenomenal, the candles and decorations were gorgeous and the whole experience just felt holy. This may just be a tradition I keep alive.

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