Remember the lace tablecloth used only on special occasions, the good china, silver, crystal glassware, and the Christmas candles in the center of the table. Dinner will be turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, yams, and cranberry sauce, with a side dish of cucumber salad and an assortment of pies for dessert. Near the dining table, a bridge table is set for the children. Grandparents and aunts and uncles arrive in the afternoon with shopping bags bulging with presents. The Christmas tree is tall and crowned with a marvelous angel. Everything smells of pine needles, pies, and wrapping paper.
Imagine the manger, before the magi visit, two chubby cows, an old donkey, and one lamb circling Mary and Joseph and little Lord Jesus. All warmed by the breath of the animals and the dazzling love within.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Illustration: "Nativity in Stained Glass " © Ewa Mazur/Dreamstime.com