For this evening we begin the 12 day celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior! Beginning with vigil Mass of Christmas Day, the 12 Days of Christmas proceed through the Midnight Mass (this year, we’ll be going to St. Margaret Mary’s in Oakland for the Extraordinary Form high Mass), and the feasts of Sts. Stephen, John the Evangelist, Thomas Becket, Sylvester, and Basil the Great, and the Holy Innocents, Mary Mother of God, and the Holy Family, culminating on Epiphany, when in our household we exchanges gifts. Hosanna in the highest!
This year, the family (well, my wife, the two teenagers still at home and I – the 10 year old made 3) made all 9 Masses of Simbang Gabi, the traditional Filipino Advent novena leading up to Christmas. Mass is held at 5:30 a.m., and followed by a traditional Filipino breakfast. It was great! Our Filipino brothers and sisters are always so warm and welcoming.
We have a full slate of visiting and visitors over the next few days. Two sets of friends who lost young adult sons this year are coming over to decorate the tree with us tonight; Christmas dinner is with Grandma as usual, Saturday morning and afternoon is with old friends of my kids, then evening dinner with old friends of mine. Sunday is with my sister in Sunnyvale.
May God bless each of you and your families with the peace and joy of Infant Jesus!