Sandra picked up the phone in Vancouver (Canada) and phoned Wodonga (Australia), nineteen hours ahead, to speak with her family.
The Wodonga end had just sat down to a cold Christmas dinner on the gauzed-in verandah at their home among the trees. It was then they received the perfectly timed phone-call from across the world. Sandra’s Mum and Dad both spoke with her - her Mum remarking they had remembered her at Mass last night. She spoke with her sister, Anne, husband Keith, and their three. And her two younger brothers, Andrew and Philip, also squeezed in a few words between their guffaws and news from around town.
The family said that there was a lot of smoke from the bush fires, but that the heat wasn’t too bad this year. They told her that Nanna was improving, but was still in hospital, and that they had visited her already and were going back in the afternoon.
When Sandra got off the phone she felt ambivalent. Sitting in her studio apartment at 6.00 pm Christmas Eve eating her reheated pizza many feelings were running through her. It was not so much about missing family, but about why she would miss them so much at Christmas.
The thought struck her: “What was it about Christmas that made it so important to people?”
The Lord has made his salvation known:- Psalm 98:2-3
In the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
Towards the house of Israel
Almighty God and Father of light, a child is born for us and a son given us. Your eternal Word leaped down from heaven in the silent watches of the night, and now your Church is filled with wonder at the nearness of her God. Open our hearts to receive his life and increase our vision on this new day, that our lives may be filled with his glory and his peace, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
Quick, into the mist,- A Haiku by Oemaru
"On Mendelssohn” (‘Hark! the Herald Angels’ theme) played at the end of midnight Mass, Catholic church of the Epiphany, 22nd Street and 2nd Avenue, New York, NY. United States. Organist: Mr. David Strickland. Videographer: Mr. Corey Kaup. Producer: Msgr Walter Niebrzydowski.