Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Christmas gathering and our Christmas letter

A warm gathering of friends at our house for fellowship, Rosary, Christmas music and yummy dessert. 
Thank you to our friend Sara C. for her wonderful eye for photography.

Holy Christmas 2012

Dear friends and family,

Last week we started sending our Christmas letter.
Then, something tragic happened in Connecticut. We stopped. It is a time for prayer and reflection.

God knows suffering. He sent his son to die for us. He knows what it means to lose a son.
Jesus came to bring us hope.
We can help heal this wounded world, if we accept God's loving laws and if we are willing to start saying no to violence: in movies, in the media and in the womb.
This is our new Christmas reflection this week.

Merry Christmas

Enrico and Norine Contolini (and children)


There is an unusual Christmas song that our children like called: “Leaving Heaven”, by Matthew West (  It goes like this:

I’m gonna walk around that broken Earth
Trading in these streets of gold
So if you ever wonder how much you’re worth
You should know
That you’re the reason why I’m leaving Heaven
Just a little old manger, in a little old town
But it’ll do just fine for this humble King
I’m leaving Heaven let all the angels sing
I’m gonna walk around that broken Earth
Trading in these streets of gold
So if you ever wonder how much you’re worth
You should know
You’re the reason why I’m leaving Heaven
And when my time comes to an end
I’ll lay down my life like a truest friend
And when I get back home, I’m gonna make some room
So, don’t you worry, ‘cause I’m coming back for you
And you will say goodbye to that broken Earth
You’re gonna walk on streets of gold
And if you ever wonder what my love is worth
Well you should know
That I’m the reason you’ll be seeing Heaven
Indeed, Jesus left Heaven for us, taught us the “beauty” and value of poverty and of innocent children. He showed us what it means to serve and to love. 
He showed us the meaning of suffering, to not fear it and how to be thankful. In fact, Eucharist (from the Greek Eucharisteo) means Thanksgiving!
So, what have we learned from His example since last Christmas and what do we want to learn from Him this coming year?
As a family, we are trying to recognize our gifts, knowing that from thankfulness comes joy. 
As the book: One Thousand Gifts ( suggests, each member of our family is keeping a list of what we are thankful for. We are slowly working up to 1,000. 
Here are some of our favorites:
Paolo (7):
-          Going to Wal-Mart with mommy
-          The Most Wonderful Mrs. Morrell (my 2nd grade teacher)
-          My new friends Kuba and Brody
-          Tortellini and Subway sandwiches
-          Playing on the Tigers soccer team
Pietro (10):
-          Changing school to Hutchinson Elementary
-          My watch from Zio Franz in Italy
-          My special trip to Utah with daddy and meeting Gail Halvorsen (
-          Playing soccer at recess
-          Watching Shawn the Sheep on the computer
Emanuela (13):
-          Joining American Heritage Girls
-          Monday and Wednesday nights because they are Gymnastics nights
-          Newborn babies, and little children
-          Meeting and getting to know our distant cousin Gina in Oregon
-          Snuggling
Isabella (14):
-          Marching Band Season
-          New Friends in High School
-          Crater Lake and its amazing blue waters
-          Meeting and touching the Kiwi bird Manaia at the National Zoo in Washington D.C.
-          The feel and smell of the pages of new books
-          Losing seven pounds
-          Health, health and health again
-          My $150 piano found at the parish rummage sale and listening to the girls play on it.
-          Kids humming when they are creating things
-          When Paolo wants to sit next to me and hold my hand during our Sunday rosary
-          Norine's pony tail
-          My four day work week
-          Empty beach by the ocean in Oregon and finding star fish in low tides
-          LED Christmas lights that do not need replacing
-          Our weekly Holy Hour and the peace it brings
What is your family thankful for this year?
Our best wishes for Christmas!  
Enrico, Norine, Isabella, Emanuela, Pietro and Paolo Contolini


Anita and Greg said...

That is a beautiful Christmas card. You are such an amazing family. I love what you are thankful for too.
It is a privilege being your friends.
Much love.

Angela said...

Wonderfully crisp and always interesting!