This weekend I have chosen two Christmas trees, and so far no emotional outbursts have occurred. The tree we picked out for the church was exquisite: tall and not particularly bushy but absolutely symmetrical. It won’t get lights until later in the season, but when they are on it will be stunning!
The church smells wonderful.
This morning we began worship on the front steps of the church, with some people in the vestibule to keep warm, and celebrated the Hanging of the Greens. (May I just say that a little bit of blowing snow, which we had at that moment, should not be a problem for hearty Mainers. Maybe they just like to grumble.) It is a bit more formal than most of our worship with lots of responses. Did you know I attended Episcopal school from 1st grade through 7th? There is part of me that would have been a very happy Anglican.
A newly retired pastor who lives in the area came to worship today with his wife and recently married adult daughter. All –plus daughter’s husband– are looking for a new church. (Squee! New members who understand church life!) I’ve known him for many years and like him a lot. After worship, Daughter said, “I’ve visited several other churches and haven’t felt so welcomed.” That doesn’t surprise me, both because I know how welcoming our folk are and because I know how much chillier some of the other nearby UCC churches can be. Then she said, “The service was perfectly beautiful from beginning to end.” That meant a lot, especially since I had been concerned that Hanging of the Greens combined with Communion might seem like a bit of a three-ring circus.
After church we went back to the temporary Christmas tree lot, just three short blocks from home. We usually drive out to Fabulous Neighboring Seaside Town to buy a tree at a nursery owned by members of the church where I did my Field Education in the mid-90’s. I like to get one there because they are such faithful supporters of that wonderful church. But this year we are being deliberate about doing less driving, so we took the closer option. Pure Luck walked over to meet us; he and #2 Son walked home with the wreath and the tree. I don’t know if I can really say how sweet that was.
Last night I asked Pure Luck if he knew where we had put the tree stand? He reminded me that we threw it away; it had grown quite rusty. So this afternoon we went out in search of a new one. Ach, what a cacophony of outdoor Christmas decorations we had to brave along the way: inflatable snowmen, giant snowglobes, plastic reindeer and an absolutely terrifying four foot Santa who sang while rotating his pelvis like The King. We also took a trip to vertigo-inducing BJ’s, where we purchased a lot of soup as well as numerous Snack Foods for the Apocalypse (tm Phantom Scribbler). We have toothpaste, soap, shampoo, oatmeal breakfast squares, and the biggest can of Nesquik I have ever, ever seen. The latter cost less than a 12 oz. can of Ghirardelli Ground Chocolate. I guess I won’t be getting anymore of the good stuff! Boohoo!
Just now we are eating Stouffer’s Macaroni and Cheese, an all time family favorite, while awaiting #2 Son’s return from a birthday party. As soon as he is here, we will get the tree in the stand and string it with our new LED lights. I am married to a man who knows what the letters stand for, and I am impressed with his breadth of knowledge. He even knew why they don’t heat up! I have forgotten already. I just know they are both green and blue (ecologically and politically). We bought the colored lights. At least the ones at church are all white.
Now if we can just convince Sam that he doesn’t need to mark the tree, we will be all set.