This December, Catherine and Camille have been enjoying our advent calendar, taking turns opening a new little door each day, which reveals a different picture and Scripture about one of the events leading up to Jesus' birth.
Today, Catherine opened the door for December 8. The picture and verse were about the wise men - the kings who brought gifts to honor the newborn King of Kings. It reminded me of another story, which I told the girls. Catherine smiled when she realized this story was about her.
To begin, you have to know what Catherine was like when she was a baby. She was such an easy going little girl - remarkably gentle and kind, especially for a baby. The one thing she deeply loved was her pacifier, which you can see in her hand in the picture above. If Catherine had one paci in her mouth and spotted another, she'd drop the one for the other. She'd literally cycle through the pacis, making me laugh. Occasionally, Catherine would figure out a way to get two into her mouth, making me laugh harder.
Catherine was one and Camille was a few months old.
As Christmas approached, I would tell Catherine the story of Jesus' birth, using our wooden nativity set (a lovely gift to our family from my Aunt Melinda and Uncle John during their time in Jordan).
I kept the nativity figurines in a paper bag beside me and pulled them out one each day to talk about while I fed baby Camille. It was an opportunity to interact with Catherine while I was sat feeding, and to introduce her to the story of Jesus' birth.
Each day, we talked about someone: the baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds. Each day, she would put the figure on the creche. When we arrived at the wise men, I told Catherine how they brought gifts to honor baby Jesus.
Something must have registered with little Catherine, because after I put sleeping, well-fed Camille to bed, and returned to our living room, I noticed our creche, only with a few more objects than Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and now the wise men. There, Catherine had brought Him a few gifts of her own: one of her own Christmas presents, and (if you look closely) her two pacis.
"What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb.
If I were a wise man, I would do my part.
Yet what can I give Him?
Give Him my heart."
- Christina G. Rossetti, English poet
1830 - 1894