Thursday, December 11, 2008

Silent Night

Our family, like many, has an Advent tradition of gathering together to read various stories, scriptures, and devotions every night during the month of December. It is true that the kids like to rush through this portion of our tradition to get to the second:

The Advent Box

which holds, behind each tiny door, a chocolate coin, or Santa, or tiny toy (which used to thrill Harper who now comments, "Why are all my toys made in China?"), or a slip of paper with a note that says, "The ban on TV watching on school nights has been lifted for the Charlie Brown Christmas Special!" and "This certificate gives the bearer one Itune download!". I try to be creative.

It was easy to find 24 tiny gifts when Harper was into rock collecting.

Zane? Chocolate. Shoot, I could fill every one of his compartments with 1 chocolate chip. He'd be ecstatic.

Harper, on the other hand, is a bit more difficult now. Someday, I'll fill her box with charms for a bracelet, as I attempted to do so last year, only to find that the interest wasn't there on her part. The Advent Box forces me to be very mindful of their personalities. It makes me stop and think about my children - their likes (Zane=chocolate) and their dislikes (Harper=chocolate). In doing so, it also reminds me of their love language.

Zane's love language is hot chocolate.

Harper's love language is not a charm bracelet. It's time. Quality time.

During our reading time last night, I pulled out a book about how the beloved Christmas carol, Silent Night, came to be. The book was long. Well, not long as in chapter-book-long, but rather, long in topic. I just didn't think it would capture or keep her interest. Whether she enjoyed the story or not, I did know that she would remain throughout the entire reading as long as it meant that the two of us got to stuff ourselves, side by side, into the same reading chair in the living room. Time together.

We read through the entire story, and upon reaching the last page, we found the very music to Silent Night.

"Sing it, Mommy."

Ok, this is the kid who tells me that I can only sing with the band at church. Not in the kitchen, not in the bathroom, and certainly not in the car or God forbid in front of her friends. Sing? Did I hear her right?

So, I began. As I started the second verse she asked me where I was in the music. I showed her and continued.

And then it happened.

Suddenly, on the third verse, my solo became a duet WITH MY DAUGHTER! It was one of those moments where I just had to hold it together or lose the moment. While the words of the song were coming out of my mouth, the words in my head were saying, "Don't make a big deal out of this or she will stop singing!"

She has never sung with me. EVER.

Ok, the kids may want to rush to the Advent Box portion of our yearly tradition. But not on this night.

Not on this night.

This night was calm, bright, tender, mild, heavenly, peaceful, and silent, accept for Mother and Child lightly singing the last verse of this beautiful and simple carol.

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth "


melody said...


Amy said...

Oh, Joline, you made me cry! I can just hear the two of you singing. What an amazing moment.

Elizabeth L said...

What a precious time. Thank you Lord for your gifts to us. How smart of you to realize each person's love language and how it can change over time. I know you will treasure this moment in your heart.