We sit down at the dark oak dining table with much ado.  Waverly declares that she’s lighting the candle, Wynter proclaims that she wants a chance to read and Wardan sighs loudly and drops his head on the table.  Weston has of course snapped his fingers and made smacking sounds while he pulls the chair out and flops down.

Nothing is done quietly.  Life gets loud and scattered before the calm.

I start to read from the book about Laura Wilder’s Christmas on the prairies. I wonder if it will be too young for them but everyone settles into listening mode as I tell the tale about Laura’s Christmas as a 16 year old, teaching in a harsh cold winter.  The horse’s nose freezes as she rides the buggy home with her future husband.  She wanted to get home for Christmas.  We lived on the prairies and that bitter cold we remember.  The phone would ring in the morning, “no busses running today,”  and it would be a home day, snug and warm inside watching TV and baking cookies. Looking through the window, the cold outside could be seen by the pale blue light glistening off the hardened snow.

Storytelling weaves its magic on the children and I amaze at the power of words filling the dining room.  Their souls are quiet and hearts are open.  Then Weston reads the prayer to close our advent.

May the Chrismas light glow in your window as you come home on a dark and stormy night.  May the music of carols warm your discouraged souls and make you want to sing gain.  May the crib scene catch your eye and hold you in its fascination.  May you realize that every gift is as special as you want to make it.  May the Christmas tree draw you to its dazzling lights.

May your love be even more dazzling and welcome everyone home.  May Jesus and Mary and Joseph bless you and all yours and keep you patient and happy and joyous all the season long.  May you remember as best you can the poor an the sick and lonely and the hungry and the frightened.  And may it be, no matter what, the best Christmas ever.  Amen.

And that is my prayer for you.  My gift to you and your family this season.

Tuesday’s unwrapped.