I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I certainly did. Today we had our extended family gathering at my mother's house, and for the first time in a long time, managed to get most of the crew - aunts and uncles and cousins and grandmothers - there at the same time. I think we had 25 people at my mom's house. It was crazy, and tiring, but fun. Everyone stayed late. I'm lucky to have my extended family all living in New York State, and I feel blessed that our family, for the most part, is pretty close.
I'm pleased to report that we had a fairly decent crowd in church on Sunday morning. Not record-breaking, but about what we get on a holiday weekend like Labor Day. It was actually a nice, relaxing, but spirit-filled worship experience, at least from my perspective.
On Christmas Eve, we had two worship services. At our early service, the highlight was the lighting of the Christ Candle. A young couple was doing the reading, and their two-year-old wandered up from the back of the sanctuary with his children's bag, sat on the chancel, and looked through it. Then, as they were lighting the candles, he stood up, and spent the rest of the time trying to blow the candles out. Hilarious. Needless to say, I don't think anyone caught much of the candle liturgy.
For the message/children's time, I read a book - Mary's First Christmas. I don't think this went over very well (except that the adults did like looking at the pictures - I had some young adults walk up and down the aisles with extra copies of the book so the adults could see), and I was really stressed out and disappointed by the end of the service about how badly I thought this went. But I had to remind myself that feeling so upset about it was probably a sign that I thought I was the most important part of the Christmas Eve service. So, I'm trying to get over it!
At the late service, my actor-brother Todd performed two monoguges, adapted from these two sources. The late service is always my favorite. More contemplative, the "silent night" that we sing about.
Do you have any exciting/meaninful Christmas experiences to report?