Family, Holy Days, Television

A few thoughts on Christmas Eve

I’m sitting in my office, burning my beautiful purple candle for the last time this year. On the radio plays A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, live from England. After listening to it here last Christmas Eve morning, I determined that it would be one of my Christmas Eve traditions from then on, and, Oh, is it beautiful to be listening this morning!

Earlier, the Little Princess and I packed up our favorite Christmas picture books and brought them to church. She is hanging out in our Nursery School, which she loves to have all to herself, reading and playing. Before the radio program began we assembled a dozen Luminaria that will burn out in front of the church tonight.

Last night we had a storm, rain and wind, gusts up to 60 miles per hour. As I was leaving work around 6 o’clock, I discovered that a shed sitting at the back of our parking lot had blown into the fence that separates our property from the neighbor and her dogs. I called a young man in the congregation who lives close by and has a landscaping business, and he soon arrived to remedy the problems. A cameraman for one of the local stations found him at his work, while the metal shed was still rippling in the wind, and took some footage. We ended up on the 11 o’clock news, where I was shown briefly describing what had happened. I felt I sounded very girlish. It’s odd to see yourself and hear yourself on TV. (My hair, though wind-blown, did look good. Phew!)

Now I am finishing my Christmas message, which will come in the form this year of a story for the children. We have only one service, and I found the Lessons and Carols format was too lengthy and too staid for a church full of children. So this year we are having three lessons and 8 carols instead of six lessons and 1000 (seemingly) carols. Instead of preaching from the pulpit, I will invite the children to come forward and sit with me by the manger, which we left standing after the pageant last Sunday, and I will tell them the story I had better finish writing very soon…

After church, we depart for Cumberland, Maine, and a holiday meal with the “outlaws,” my former husband’s family. All the children will sing and play their instruments and recite from Luke’s gospel and Clement Moore. My husband will get into the act this year by reading from Dr. Seuss. For me it is a complete treat, because I don’t have to do anything but watch and enjoy!

Merry Christmas to all!