Christmas Blessings

We had our little Christmas play at Family Home Evening on Monday. Tony had Axa do the casting. She cast herself as Mary, and Raj as Joseph. Raj’s baby doll Rachel (named after Benjamin’s fiancee) was baby Jesus. Grandma was the angel, and Grandpa was a wiseman. I was given the role of narrator. And Tony? He was a sheep. His costume was the best, though. He wore Raj’s special snuggly sheepskin. The play proceeded according to script until the sheep crawled in with Raj’s sheepskin laid over his back. Raj turned his back on Mary and the baby, climbed on top of the sheep, and began sucking his fingers and twirling Tony’s hair. His contented tranquility must have been something like the peacefulness of that first Christmas night.

I was a little sad about this Christmas. It was supposed to have been our first Italian Christmas, but things just worked out to have it here. I started thinking about how beautiful Christmas was last year. It was just how I wanted it: the apartment in La Jolla that I loved, our first real furniture, the Christmas tree we cut ourself, our caroling party, making lots of cookies and delivering them to practically everyone we knew, singing at the Temple, doing the twelve days of Christmas for a sweet lonely lady in our ward, and doing our beach cleanup project on Christmas morning.

Last year it was all just as I planned, and I loved it. This year, I was afraid we just wouldn’t have a very special Christmas. Here we are in our bland furnished short-term apartment, and all our stuff is inaccessible in storage. How could I possibly have a good Christmas? I’ve realized that is one of the messages of Christmas: “With God, nothing shall be impossible.”

We went to storage. I prayed very hard, and we actually did find our box of Christmas ornaments. And right in front was my harp, so even without a piano, we’ve had Christmas carols. We spent Thanksgiving with Tony’s parents, and they gave us a Christmas tree. Grandma also let us borrow her special unbreakable nativity set (it looks just like those pretty, lifelike Italian ones). This morning during scriptures, Raji kissed the little baby Jesus over and over again.

Our friend Nancy invited us to her choir’s beautiful Christmas program at the lovely new Catholic church. We went to a harp concert at the Temple. And yesterday, Tony and I went to the Temple together for the first time in at least a year. It’s nice to go alone, but so much nicer to go together. We must have been a little giddy. Two people asked if we were newlyweds.

And speaking of newlyweds, what a sweet and joyous thing it is to be here for the weddings of both my brothers. I’m so happy they’ve both fallen in love. Their brides are both delightful, and such perfect matches.

I think it will be a lovely Christmas after all.