For me, there is another important part to that question. If you ask me this week whether I had a good Christmas, my answer will probably be, “I still am.” According to our secular society, Christmas is over. After all, the stores and malls started putting up Christmas decorations sometime before Hallowe’en, and it is now time to move on to the next big thing. But in the Church, Christmas only begins on December 25. This is our time to celebrate Christ’s birth, and we don’t give up on it easily. I keep singing Christmas songs, even when people give me funny looks. After all, those are the same funny looks I gave people who were singing or playing Christmas music two weeks before Thanksgiving.
On the other hand, if you ask me if I had a good Christmas, I may take Linus’ approach and think of all the different ways Christmas can be good. So let me take this time to offer my thanks to all who contributed to my good Christmas. Thank you to John Lester and his crew of elves who decorated the church to make it such a festive place. Thank you to Laurie Lanz, who leads our music program, for the festive music which is so vital to this feast. That thanks includes the cantors, our adult choir, our contemporary choir, our Schola Cantorum (the quartet), the children’s choir and Margie Masilunas’ handbell choir. Thanks also to all who served the parish liturgies in any capacity.
Thank you to all of you who sent me Christmas cards or presents. Yes, one of Linus’ conditions for a good Christmas had to do with the presents, and I do appreciate the gifts that I have received. That also includes those of you who sent me Christmas cookies or any other goodies. Perhaps I should question whether all those edible treats made a good Christmas, for now I have to behave myself and try to work off some of those calories before my next visit with the doctor, who always makes me step on the scale at the beginning of my check-up.
Thank you to Fr. Russell and to the staff and all the volunteers here at St. Malachy Parish. You do so much to keep this parish going, and I appreciate what you have done for Christmas and all throughout the year.
And speaking of “all throughout the year,” we still have New Year’s to celebrate. In the Catholic Church, January 1 is the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. That is a Holy Day of Obligation. It is also the start of a new year, so we will again have a New Year’s Eve Holy Hour to allow us to welcome in 2016 in the presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. The Holy Hour will begin with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at 11:30 pm.