Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My Awesome Christmas by Betsy

I have had an absolutely awesome day - a few days, actually. Bullet Points [EDIT: I started to do bullet points but I can't seem to be concise. So, no bullet points, but a rather detailed synopsis:)

Christmas eve services at church went smoothly, and this advent has been by far the lowest-stress holiday ever. We've been doing the same Christmas eve service as long as I can remember - a presentational service of scripture and and carols, always featuring some high-quality 'special' element and always highlighting some very spectacular technical snafu. The guest artists (and, unrelatedly, whatever I happen to screw up) are different every year, but it's always readers, candles, short sermon, no communion, Silent Night.

Every year I say, without much hope, "We should do something different. We should go outside! We should have, like, a bonfire!" I know it's hopeless, and annually I am humored that it's a fine idea, really, such an interesting and creative thing to suggest, but in the light of these 50 insurmountable issues, we really can't pursue it. And I sigh and nod, and work on creative ways to tweak the traditional plan, and quietly daydream about my hopeless Christmas bonfires.

So last night, as I stood beside my Christmas bonfire, holding a candle and singing Silent Night, I was pretty happy.

I'm sure I'll write more about it later - I'm scared that I'll seem pleased with myself, which is not the case. I am thrilled with our staff, our congregation, our volunteers, the events, even the weather and the phase of the moon. I'm pleased because the way I imagined it was sort of the way it turned out. Sort of.

Now, some actual bullet points:
  • best turkey ever ! My brother and his wife volunteered to do all the Christmas dinner cooking. Honestly, I would have been happy just to have someone other than me throw a pizza on the table, but as it turns out, we had ACTUAL FUN and ended up with a totally delicious dinner. AND it only took 2 hours! (In the oven. It took many more hours to spatchcock it, brine it, chop herbs, plus that whole 'toasting the fennel seeds' thing.) THIS
    is a great recipe. Make this turkey! Or better yet, have your brother make this turkey!
  • plus, cleanest kitchen ever. I have no idea what possessed him, but my brother - having spent the whole day cooking - then washed a mountain of dishes and cleaned my kitchen. As we all know, anytime anyone cleans anything in my house, it's a Christmas miracle. So that was awesome.
  • A lovely day with the grandparents.
  • My child has done many charming things over the last couple of days, including:
  • wildly dancing in a circle in the living room, shouting 'Merry Christmas!' over and over, to the sound of the Russian Dance from the Nutcracker.
  • On Sunday, we went out to the stable to meet the live nativity animal guest stars - 2 pygmy goats, a donkey and a couple of deceptively sweet-looking alpacas. After hanging out with the for a while, I was packing Ian into the car, and he CRIED! Actual TEARS! And cried out of the car window, "Bye, animals! Sniff!"
  • However, on Monday night, the animals were not the main attraction. Eric and Ian were shepherds, looking very cute in their homemade tunics and curtain-tieback belts.
  • Eric to Ian (excitedly): "Come on! We have to lead people to the Baby Jesus!"
  • Ian: (so excited that his teeth are clenched; shouting at the top of his lungs:)SANTA CLAUS!! IS!! COMING TO TOWN!!!!!!!!"
  • Eric: No, not Santa, Baby Jesus!
  • Ian: (practically swooning): SANTA!!!!! CLAUS!!!Of course this took place in front of about one-third of my congregation. Not me, of course - I was bringing up the rear. I cannot believe I missed it.

    Jane Sandwich said...

    Bets - I had to laugh at Ian's declarations (Santa Claus) while dressed as a shepherd. Big belly laughs - thanks!!!

    Hugs, Jane

    Anonymous said...

    So next year I'll throw a pizza on your table. Coal-fired brick oven, of course. And stone-ground grain crust. And handmade cheeses. And hand-smoked sausages, and heirloom tomatoes. and herbs, and shallots, and hand-grown garlic, and.........