Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Janaro Christmas: Pictures and Reflections

Early Christmas morning. The Janaros went to midnight Mass, and the family picture (below) was taken at 2:00 AM!

We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas season! Here are a few pictures. You all understand, of course, that the adolescents in this house are rather particular about appearing in photographs. I've been sneaky a few times but I won't press my luck here. That means that the people you'll be seeing (for the most part) are the usual camera hams in the family.
The stockings were hung on the sofa with care. But the sofa blocked the way from the chimney to the living room. Sorry, Santa!

"No problemo" for Santa. (n.b. even Josefina knows that St. Nicholas doesn't come down the chimney, but we have fun pretending!)

In fact, it turns out that "Santa Claus" is a Washington Nationals fan!

Children and young folks and old folks too made short work of the present opening, once we finally got up!

Teresa got this... umm... twenty-first century skateboard thingy. Whatever it is, she loves it!

Here are a couple of monkeys!

Oh, John Paul is in this picture. But if he sees it, I expect he won't care that much.

And food-glorious-food we had in abundance. Pepper slices filled with goat cheese and tomatoes and scallions. Yum, yum!

The main dish was a pork roast that totally rocked! The gravy was made with apples and onions.

And it was this wonderful lady who made it all happen, again! I love you, Eileen Janaro!

 The true Gift of Christmas is the source of our hope and joy. Jesus holds us together and enables us to help one another.

In my Christmas dinner toast I said, "Jesus, thanks for coming!"

Truly, Jesus, You are everything to us. Thank You, above all, for the hope of eternal life, which enables us to see Your gift in everything, and which is teaching us to hunger and thirst for Your beauty in all the joys and sorrows of this life, confident in the hope that You work all things for the good.

Pictures on a blog might lead one to believe that "everything is awesome," that a family is chipper all the time and has no problems. But anyone who reads this blog knows that our family and our friends are on a journey, full of work and stumbling, full of failure and suffering, but also full of Someone who has come and who wants to be with us always.

There is joy, unconquerable joy, that consists in Him, in His presence which draws us to stay with Him, to adhere to Him, to believe in Him, trust in Him, love Him.

God is with us. God has come to be with us because He loves us. And to reveal that He IS Love. At the center of life, sustaining everything in being, is the One who is Love. The promise that stirs within our hearts is true: Gift, Goodness, Beauty, Truth, Love are the meaning of everything.

And this meaning has come because He wants to be with us. The meaning of everything has a name: Jesus.

Never give up.

And Merry Christmas!