By Sister Elaine Marie Roggenbuck
Yes, according to the liturgical calendar, the Christmas Season is over. However, “Wise Men Still Seek Him.” And, Christmas cards and letters are still being delivered by the mail carrier wishing that the gifts of our Savior bless the recipient with peace, joy, good health and success all this coming year. A number of homes still have their outdoor colored lights plugged in lighting up the neighborhood with the Christmas spirit. At the same time Sister Rebecca, the floor staff, and activity department are gathering up the various Christmas decorations, carefully packing them away in marked totes and boxes to hibernate until the next Christmas season next December. In their places numerous cute snowmen, in various array, are appearing with Sister Rebecca taking them out of her carefully labeled storage boxes, and setting them around everywhere, offering much delight, and even giggles, as to their design. They also remind us that we are in the North Dakota winter season, but their enjoyment helps us overcome the cold temps and just enjoy the many graces and gifts of our Savior, plus left over chocolate, Christmas cookies, and new warm socks.
So it is in St. Anne’s Convent where we Sisters live. Sister Rebecca and Sister Christina decorated various areas, with Sister Rebecca putting up both Christmas trees, in the parlor and in the community room. Most everything is still up, although Sister Rebecca did make a few changes with more cute snowmen. Sister Elaine again this year set up the Spanish stable in our Chapel which is a precious gift that our St. Anne’s Guest Home staff gave us a number of years ago. It is of a really unique Spanish design, adobe stable, three tall palm trees, figurines wearing cloth clothing, jewelry, beautiful, and artistic, sheep with woolly covering, each depicting that Christmas night when Jesus was born. Each statue, be Jesus, Mary, Joseph, shepherds, wise men, sheep, donkey, all tell the story. My absolute favorite figurine though is the camel. He’s got personality! Many years ago my Mother and I visited the Sioux Falls zoo and there was a live camel. He looked at us with a snide look as if to say “Who do you two North Dakota gals think you are?” Since then I have always delighted in the Christmas crib’s camel. But, this guy, has real reins, a really fancy cloth under his saddle, and a look on his face that you can’t help but love, because it says, “Hey I like you. You’re kinda special.”
Yes, Christmas continues all year. The GIFT of our Heavenly Father, His Son, our Savior, keeps on giving every day, healing, forgiving, strengthening, loving. Remember, “Wise Men Still Seek Him” day after day, and God makes it Christmas day after day.