December 26, 2007

A Simple Christmas with Midnight Mass

In keeping with our fairly new tradition of 'keeping things simple' for Christmas (and prepping for my husband's impending change in employment), we decided to continue this new tradition which we launched last year.

And it was very very VERY simple.

Tested was the saying, "The true meaning of Christmas is not what you find under your tree." I suppose I can say we passed, but barely. It wasn't easy because I love to gift-give...moreso than receiving gifts, but we had a plan and we stuck to it. The good news is that we will not have buyers remorse next month when the credit card bill comes in.

After the boys opened their few gifts and Sophia hers, at Domi's pleading, we went to midnight mass at Saint Mary's Cathedral in downtown Austin. We were joined by my lovely Aunts, Marjorie and Jeanne, and Yvonne and Doug accompanied us as well. Even though we arrived at 11:10, the cathedral was packed and we were lucky that we even got seats. Folks were lined up around the church and stood throughout the entire mass.

It had been years since I attended a midnight mass. Believe it was as a young child with my Mama Blanca in El Paso, and it was such a treat for a child to be able to stay up so late, which is why it excited me. However, I did not recall midnight mass being this incredibly beautiful. The sacred music, the enchanting choir (I don't think I've heard Joy to the World resonate so strongly...the, is all I can say), the golden altar decorated with poinsettias, the candles, the heavy incense. All very beautiful.

Saint Mary's Cathedral

Ok, so even though this is the church we had Sophia baptized at, for those of you who know me well, know I'm not big into 'organized' religion, or I guess I should say the 'religious right', but for whatever reason, Domi is incredibly drawn to learning about religions (in particular the history of different religions), and he's especially drawn to Cathedrals. Almost obsessed. He goes on and on about the architectural designs whenever he sees one, and even has the inside of Notre Dame as his background on his MySpace. He must have been a priest or a Gothic architect in his past life or something. His newest goal is to one day be one of the musicians playing his horn during midnight mass.

On Christmas Day we hosted a dinner. My favorite part of hosting dinners is decorating my table. I must not have had enough tea parties as a young girl, cause I get all Marth Stewart crazy about my table. And yes, I'm aware that the table setting is incorrect in the photo above. Domi set the flatware out and promised he remembered the correct placement, but after I saw the photo, realized it was wrong. So he got a tutorial in how to properly set a table.

Kidding! I'm not Mommy Dearest.
But I don't do wire hangers ;)

Anyhow, my brother in law David, and our dear friend Marco (and his super duper nice buddy, Todd) joined us for the feast. It was the easiest dinner we've ever hosted. All I had to do was set my dining room table and David and Marco brought all the food. We also enjoyed a couple loud rounds of Tabboo. Fun times.

This is the only shot I have of Sophia in her Christmas dress and Mary Jane shoes.
And of course, it's blurry.

But the best gifts were received on our doorstep Christmas morning in 5 individually wrapped boxes. A scarf for each one of us that my mother had made during the last couple years of her life. It's amazing how the scarves still have the smell of her casita.

Of nag-champa and sage.

No comments: