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The Day I Received Jesus

December 21, 2016
Iraqis re-enact the Nativity at Ainkawa refugee camp near Irbil, Iraq, Dec. 19. Christmas bells did not ring in Mosul and Christian villages this year for the first time in 1,600 years. (CNS photo/Sahar Mansour) See CHRISTMAS-PATRIARCHS Dec. 26, 2014.
(CNS photo/Sahar Mansour)
Christmas time is a colorful time for many of us, the music is everywhere and the lights cover many homes' windows, roofs, trees and anywhere. We all want to communicate that our spirit has changed and we are ready to have a good time on the darkest month of the year.
I believe that in the Christmas time, we allow our inner child to take control and that is probably that is the reason we spend so much money giving presents to our loved ones.
I personally try to remember my childhood time during Christmas and I find that the images of beautiful nativities built in my uncles' and aunts' houses, they transformed their living rooms.  It was like they created a miniature small town surrounding the manger. I enjoyed to spending time looking to each figurine, the little houses, the rivers, the mirror ponds and small figures walking towards the manger. It was a great opportunity and a time of joy for my Uncle and Aunt when I spent time in admiration of their loving creation.
A different Christmas Eve tradition was with another Aunt at their house. Their nativity
was a small manger surrounded by only a few figurines and at the center I realize that baby Jesus was missing, When I asked why my aunt told me that He would come that night.
Another thing I remember was the fact that I didn't expected any presents. I am not sure if things were different then or if I simple forgot that part of the story.
On the 25th, after an extremely late dinner, and minutes before midnight, we would surrounded the nativity set and all of us would start to sing carols. To me, they felt like prayers to welcome Jesus and as the minutes counted down, we would light the candles and my aunt would put a little Jesus figurine on the manger at the site of honour. I think it was at that moment when I learned that Jesus had just come to our home and I could feel him in my heart.
This year I promise again to sing a Christmas carol close to midnight and welcome Jesus to my home and heart. 

Javier Capella is the Technical Director at Salt and Light. This Christmas he will be broadcasting live from Hamilton, Ontario the welcoming carols and the Midnight Mass in what will become a new Salt and Light tradition. He invites you to be a part of this event from home. Let's help our children welcome Jesus in their hearts.

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