A simple tradition at our church calls for the youngest child and its family to be the Holy Family at the informal and charming Birthday Party for Jesus. Belle is not the youngest child in our church, but the youngest was not available. Belle's father is in Afghanistan so another solder was recruited to be Joseph. Belle's mother wrapped her in swaddling clothes and held her while her grandmother, great-grandmother and aunt watched proudly. The program is presented by the young people's choirs and the costumes are a fun conglomeration.
At the end, the reader invited everyone to share in birthday cake. Lucy only wanted to pet the 'sheep.' Next year, she would like to be an angel or maybe one of the friendly beasts. Meanwhile, she put her 'cabbage patch doll' in a basket of 'hay' and now Baby Jesus is sleeping soundly near the dining room table. She was not impressed that Belle was the Baby Jesus, but she understands Family and being close.
Our preparation and anticipation throughout Advent has lead us to this night. We will celebrate this week with family and friends. It will be a quiet observance of Christmastide. Our Twelve Days of Christmas will end with Epiphany on Jan 6th.