I am as guilty as anyone of letting the stress of the season get to me - my house is a wreck with glitter and glue and globs of cookie dough that some how leapt onto the cabinets and under the table; unfinished Christmas stitching is overflowing the basket; the presents I have bought are not all wrapped, my sister's little girl has the flu and family plans are up in the air - BUT I keep reminding myself that the only thing I really have to do is prepare myself and prepare my children to fully celebrate Jesus' Birth. That is all. If we did nothing but attend Christ's Mass, snuggle while reading some favorite Christmas books, rise on Christmas morning and sing the beautiful carols - it would be enough! The presents and decorations and travel are gravy (or icing, if you look at it that way!) What a shame it would be if the simple and real things were overlooked in the bother and bustle of "the holidays;" if we like the foolish virgins (think of all the ones we have cross stitched!) were found unprepared to celebrate this Great Feast.
"Wake, awake, for night is flying: The watchmen on the heights are crying, Awake, Jerusalem, arise! Midnight's solemn hour is tolling, His chariot wheels are nearer rolling, He comes; prepare, ye virgins wise. Rise up, with willing feet Go forth, the Bridegroom meet: Alleluia! Bear through the night Your well-trimmed light, Speed forth to join the marriage rite."