Winter makes me tired. I wonder sometimes if I have seasonal affective disorder. So, as I write, even after having slept well last night, and having napped well today, I am still worn out. Today, however, it is a good sort of tired.
In the last week, I have hosted two Christmas parties, shared Christmas in the homes of four parish families, celebrated four birthdays, held my new niece, celebrated three major Masses (and sung the prefaces for two of them), eaten prime rib twice, lobster once, and caviar for the first time (it is alright, but not exactly the sort of thing that I can see myself craving), sang all of my favorite Christmas Carols, seen innumerable people that I have not seen since summer or longer, and been hugged by a vast array of people. I have very clearly been among family, even though they are not the family with whom I grew up. And they have worn me out.
Besides all this, the kitchen counter is covered with cookies and other sweets, and we have a very nice selection of wine to accompany dinners for a while. People have been exceedingly generous to me, and I plan to be exceedingly generous to Cabelas.
To top it all off, I will see both of my brothers, their wives and children, and my parents on Friday when we gather for our two-day Christmas celebration. I will celebrate Mass with them, give them gifts, and receive their gifts as well.
And in all of this, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of peace, of love for my people, and thanksgiving for the God who became man so that he might make all men like God.
For many years I was something of a Scrooge, but these days, I must admit it: I love Christmas as a priest.