This is the beginning of an intricate text conversation I had a few mornings ago with my cousin, who is a wife, mom of two, and an award-winning educator.
My husband and I are both lapsed Catholics, and we celebrate Christmas in our multiracial, adoptive, blended family with an emphasis on togetherness, giving gifts, and taking joy in traditions. Although I’ve left the Church I grew up in, I still feel a deep connection to many of its stories, and the Nativity story, in particular.
I’m compelled by the vision of the birth of a child as an occasion for wonder, hope, celebration, and reverence. I’m grateful for the equation of the humble with the holy. I’m moved by the depiction of Joseph, embracing his role in Mary’s life and in the life of her child, despite initial doubts and misgivings when he learns about her pregnancy. I think of my grandmother’s devotion to the Madonna because, as she said, “she was a mother, too,” and I regard Mary as a symbol of motherhood that has sustained generations of women in my family and beyond.
Look and see how charming is Jesus
How He is white, His cheeks are rosy!
Hush! hush! see how the Child is sleeping;
Hush! hush! see how He smiles in his dreams.