It's done. As Christmases go, this was a good one. We had supper at our house with ten at the table (or actually squished into the living room, because our table fits 6 comfortably, 8 snugly). The feast was perfect, and a communal effort. I did not feel sweaty or frazzled because everyone cooked their specialty and we put it all together. We used the good china, and my Great Aunt Grace's silverware that my Ohio uncles sent me after she died.
We never have big presents, but our stockings were full of little things, wrapped with too much tape, and labelled creatively by our daughter (who calls herself Elvis and Bob when giving gifts). I now own enough chocolate that I am considering hiring an Oompa Loompa to manage it.
Christmas Eve at church was very good. This is our first Christmas with Rev. Mary as minister. She kept a lot of our traditional family service, but put her own signature on things for sure. I realised that there's a big difference in terms of apparent preparedness between Mary and David, our old minister. For example, at the family Christmas Eve service, David would look around the church and ask the parents of the youngest baby present to "hand him/her over" to lie in the manger. Every year he found a trusting soul with a small baby. I think we all sat holding our collective breath that the little one wouldn't start wailing or worse, topple out of the rickety manger that David set up every year. A lot of his services has parts like that - I'd sit there, totally adrenalized wondering if he'd secretly set it all up to work, or if he was really flying without a net. I'll never know, I guess. With Mary, it's clear that she has everything mapped out ahead of time. Baby Jesus was little Steven, who was baptized in November. His Mom and Dad were clearly prepared. They dressed as Mary and Joseph and held Steven before the manger, which was suitably sturdy and deep, and probably would have held him had they chosen to put him in it. It felt safe, and it was. I was glad that Jesus didn't take a nose dive, and that I didn't have to worry that he would. Still, I missed the edge of doubt and the incredulous twist of excitement that I sometimes felt when David led our worship.
Tomorrow I will not go shopping. Never do. Husband and daughter are chomping at the bit to buy an MP3 player, probably online. I hope they get it. I hope it's what they want. I'll be putting the china and the silverware away and counting my blessings and feeling a little sad for Christmases past.
Question: What makes one example become the template?
mompoet - looking forward