Sorry I've fallen off the blog cliff the last few weeks, and Thank You for continuing to check back all these days. It has been CRAZY, as I'm sure you can all imagine.
First of all, let me just say that the Christmas Pageant came off beautifully. The Best Yet. I missed the first part because I was running around in a panic behind scene trying to get Mary and Joseph to GO OUT, go out, go out, while they just stood there in a daze. But I managed to make it to the back in time to see Herod and the Kings and the rest. The music was Wonderful-THANK YOU Micah. I've heard all kinds of nice things about it. And, I will say, for the first time in Five Years, I get the point of Silent Night in the dark with candles with everybody crying. Never understood before, but you're right, it is very beautiful and worth the effort.
My homiletic remarks are in some file or other. I'll have to retrieve and post them at another moment. I'm also hoping someone took pictures because I didn't have time.
And then we all came home and next day ate not just an enormous goose, but a good sized duck as well, with Yorkshire pudding, peas, gravy and mashed potatoes, and then had spiced apple cake for dessert. Matt outdid himself on every level. We were also given a lot of things we don't deserve-like a large horse for Emma, with a saddle and everything (not real, heaven be thanked), and a little real functioning sewing machine, and a castle for Aedan and a wooden sword and shield and a helmet, and a riding scooping truck that makes noises that you can sit on for Rowan. I gave Gwendolyn a china tea set because, well, she'll need it some day. So, now we are exhausted and overstuffed and relieved that the festivities are basically over and we get get on with the bland functioning of day to day life, at least until Lent when the madness all begins again.
I did a chunk of time at the store today, checking people out with half price on all Christmas items. I was fascinated to watch people self censor, wishing me already a happy New Year, after a pause, rather, of course, than Merry Christmas, or even Happy Holidays. Which just proves to me that 'Happy Holidays' is a Complete replacement for Christmas. At Thanksgiving, everyone says, 'Happy Thanksgiving', and of course we're all allowed to say Happy New Year. Its bizarre. Almost wished a few people Happy Kwanzaa, even though they were clearly buying Christmas Items (wrapping paper, little 50% ceramic santas etc.) Anyway, it doesn't look like I'll have to work much longer, due to the enormous generosity of many people, and the fact that Matt knows how to count, whereas, when I was handling things, being unable to count got us in all kinds of hot water. Forthcoming, when I've thought it all through, are all the spiritual lessons I have learned about The World, Money, and The Buying of Many Things.
Meanwhile, I am in a glow of thankful gratitude. For one, I'm thankful for this blog, wherein I can spew all kinds of chatter and people get on and read and comment. Matt and I were recently discussing the joy of having a real 'online community'. I know its cheesy, but in these dark ecclesiastical times, when we war in the trenches, its easy to feel isolated from the far reaching and expanding body of Christ. For all its trouble and heartache, the Internet connection at my fingers is a source of connection and growth and spiritual care that I am very grateful for.
I am also vastly grateful for Matt. As I was running around the church on Christmas Eve, making sure everyone knew where to go and what to do and how to do it, Matt was following after me and giving opposite instructions, confusing everyone and causing mayhem and destruction (from my perspective). BUT, we were in it together, and when we realized what we both we're doing, we had a good solid laugh in the sacristy. AND, it was beautiful. We pulled it off. God pulled it off. For heaven's sake, he managed to be born in spite of us all, and live through childhood, and die for all our sins. From the depths of my soul, I Praise Him! Merry Christmas.