father_karl_216Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In today’s world of excessive Christmas decorations the real message of Christmas can be lost. A couple of generations ago the decorations were much simpler and much more re- lated to the Birth of the Savior. In Ireland there was a cus- tom of placing a large candle that would burn from Christ- mas Eve until the 6th of January (the twelfth day of Christ- mas) in the window of the house as a sign that the Holy Fam- ily was welcome in that house. The other decorations were usually a nativity scene and a few sprigs of holly with ber- ries.

The Christmas gifts for the children of the household would be new clothes or shoes and maybe some fruit an orange or a banana in their sock. Somehow in today’s world we think Christmas is celebrated before the day but that is not the way of the Church nor was it the way of my childhood. We did our visiting of relative and friends over the twelve days. This Aunt one day that Uncle another day and my father’s family always came on New Year’s Eve and my mother’s sisters came for lunch on January the sixth. Then we went back to school the next day. It is important that we create traditions and memories but we should try to center them on the Christ Child. So this Christmas as you gather with family and friends remember the reason you gather for this day a child is born in Bethle- hem Christ the Lord.

Let our Journey continue,

Pray for me as I pray for you.

Fr Karl