Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Christmas Descended

By Belinda
Rainy day; all day--rain. I drove home at the end of the day in rain and dark. At the post office I picked up the mail just before they closed and the parking lot was dark, lit only by the light from the upper windows of St. Catherine's parish hall. There were parcels (I am in love with online shopping,) and my first real Christmas card.
Paul, Tippy and Tori were out for supper when I got home. We had the delight of their company tonight because Brenda was at a hockey game.
When they arrived home, I asked if they would like to decorate the tree. I made sure they knew they didn't have to feel they had to do it.
"Yes!" they cried in unison, "We want to do it. We love doing it." I was so glad.
I carried  boxes of ornaments and Christmas decorations downstairs, and two pairs of young hands scattered tissue paper and hung the eclectic assortment of decorations all over the tree. They managed to be both old familiar friends and shiny new things of wonder, all at the same time.
We opened plastic bags of Christmas pot pourri and inhaled the scent of cinnamon and cloves, the essence of Christmas.
The rain pattered on above us on the skylights, but down below, coloured lights twinkled and bright eyes almost outshone the lights. The house took on an increasingly Christmassy atmosphere as angels and candles covered shelves and our everyday ornaments took their place in the boxes.
Christmas descended on our home tonight, helped by the hands of children.
Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning  (one of my favourite carols)
Reginald Heber, 1811

Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
Dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid;
Star of the East, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.

2. Cold on His cradle the dewdrops are shining;
Low lies His head with the beasts of the stall.
Angels adore Him in slumber reclining,
Maker and Monarch and Saviour of all.

3. Shall we not yield Him, In costly devotion
Odors of Edom and offerings divine,
Gems of the mountain and pearls of the ocean,
Myrrh from the forest and gold from the mine?

4. Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
Vainly with gifts would His favor secure.
Richer by far is the heart's adoration;
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.

5. Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
Dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid;
Star of the East, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.

3 comments:

Marilyn said...

The helping hands of children make the very best Christmases. Lovely photos! Beautiful tree!

mercygraceword said...

Thanks Belinda,
despite having grown up Anglican I don't recall ever hearing this carol - you sent me directly to You-tube to listen to it and it is beautiful.

Deborah

Belinda said...

Deborah, I learned it as an adult, when my father-in-law taught it to our choir one Christmas. And then I didn't hear it again. Years later I asked Uncle John (Paul's uncle) if he knew it. He gave me a Methodist hymnal that belonged to his deceased wife (and which I treasure) and the carol is there.

Sometimes I read the hymns just for the blessing of the words.