I was thinking today, watching Earl with his cow Hot Donna, how much our animals can become part of our lives. How much more did the animals that kept the stable warm for Joseph and Mary that first Christmas morning? They warmed it with their bodies and their gentle spirits and they more than likely understood and stood reverently at the birth.
They, being creatures of God as well, must have sensed something special about that night, and the time leading up to it. More perceptive than us in many ways they probably had a pretty good idea the angels were about before they became visible to the people.
When I was small I left cookies for Santa and grain and hay for the reindeer. Couldn't have those hard working animals not getting treats somewhere. So now we are at Luke's third Christmas and he is learning about Jesus, His birth and of course you cannot miss Santa in our culture. But we are trying to focus on the giving, sharing, charitable St. Nicholas rather than the lap sitting, bribe taking, list keeping, peeping tom type Santa that has children and adults thinking they have to be 'worthy' of a gift. I never liked the idea of someone who spyed on me year round to ensure my good behaviour or to bribe him with appearing goodness before the holidays. (phew sorry about the rant!)
But back to the blessings of the season - family, friends, time together and the wonders of creation around us every day of the year. May you and yours be brightly blessed, always and in all ways!