Christmas Glimpses

It is Christmas morning in the Wilcox home. The children awoke early, of course, but not too early. Nichelle and I slept until 8:30. I could have used another hour, because I was too excited to sleep Christmas Eve, and stayed up until around 2:00 a.m.

We let the kids open their stockings before church, and one other gift (chosen by us) on the way to church (John missed out on that one because he left for church earlier to navigate for my sister Cindy). I was thrilled to see the church auditorium packed. Normally on Christmas Sunday we have a lot of people traveling, so I expected the attendance to be down. (Of course, there are people traveling to our area as well, but generally not as many.)

Above left: The portion of the Wilcox family spending Christmas in Nashua with us. Back row: My sister Joyce Thorne, my daughter Naomi, my niece Jennifer, my wife Nichelle, my nephew Andrew. Front row: My son David, my son Isaac, me, my sister Cindy (Jenn and Andrew’s mother), and my son John.

Above right: David, Isaac (mostly obscured), Andrew, Naomi, and Jenn opening Christmas stockings. Naomi is eating a chocolate chip muffin.

When I was growing up, I never slept past 6:00 on Christmas morning, even though I never could fall asleep before midnight. Thankfully, my own children are a bit more reasonable, although they have resorted to sending notes in attached to Isaac (2 years old at the time), and playing the trumpet outside our door. (Actually, that was my nephew Andrew.)

Did you know the cardboard box has been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame?

Naomi singing, dancing and spinning around to Tish Hinojosa’s Spanish Christmas song, “Milagro”:

Milagro, milagro, es la Esperanza
Milagro nuestro es la Navidad

(A miracle, a miracle is the hope …
The Nativity is a miracle meant for us)

Above left: A new sombrero ranchero and the Lego AT-AT. Nichelle is good to me!

Above right: Naomi with her new Navajo Barbie. (Yes, I let her take it out of the box. Calm, calm. Deep breaths. Slowly now. That’s better.)

Above: Naomi “helps” construct my new Lego AT-AT.

My niece Jennifer driving the Xbox controller like a steering wheel (and moving her whole body as if driving) while playing Burnout 3: Takedown with David and Isaac.

David wearing the mask from his Darth Vader Voice Changer helmet, singing, “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands …” while NaNi wore the cowl backwards, dancing to some inner music of her own.

Isaac’s shocked expression and dramatic dropping of the box when he opened his Carnivorous Creations terrarium.

Above left: Aren’t you a little short for a Sith lord?

Above center: Isaac dramatically reacts to opening a Carnivorous plants terrarium. (You should have seen his expression when he opened the RoboRaptor.)

Above right: NaNi models my new sombrero


Around Christmas, I always think about my favorite Christmas hymn: “God is Born” (“Bóg się rodzi”). I’ve only got one recording of it, on an old cassette entitled “An English Christmas.” It is the National Christmas Hymn in Poland, where it originated. Here’s what I’ve been able to transcribe from the English version I have:

“God is Born”

God is born and night is shaken
He the Heaven’s King lies naked.
The living Word knows brightness darkened,
He the Limitless takes limit.
Born disdained yet worship given,
Mortal, yet the Lord eternal.
Now indeed the Word made flesh
Has come on earth to dwell among us.

What hast thou, O Heaven better,
God abandoned thy perfection?
Here to share the trial and sorrow
Of His poor, beloved people.
Suffered much and suffered dearly,
For we all were guilty sinners,
Now indeed the Word made flesh
Has come on earth to dwell among us.

Born into a common stable,
He is cradled in a manager.
How then tell me what surrounds you
Hay and peace and simple shepherds.
You were ones who had the honor
Him to greet, and kings came bowing.
Now indeed the Word made flesh
Has come on earth to dwell among us.

I love the old hymns that are filled with such great doctrine. (So much of our modern popular and sacred music is vacuous—or at best superficial—by comparison.) Here the subject is the Incarnation: God the Son lowering Himself to become one of us. Wow!