This year we spread Christmas over a couple of days... or months, actually. We celebrated Christmas with my parents (and my sister and her boys) at Thanksgiving. We all went home to Buda for that. As far as Christmas, we stayed here in Fort Wayne, and our kids came to our house. I don't think my parents did anything.
On Friday (Dec. 23) we had our annual 'going-out-for-supper' night. We usually do it on Christmas Eve, but it didn't work out. So Isaac and Ricci came up, and we went to Biaggi's with them and Drew, Carrie & Anna. Then we came back to our house.
On Christmas Eve we didn't do much of anything. I worked some in the morning, then Jane and I went to a movie (Mission Impossible), then we had the Christmas Eve service at church at 7 pm. It was a real simple service: we sang a few Christmas hymns, read the Luke 2 Christmas story, I read a story called "Why Jesus?" (or "The Man and the Birds"), and we gathered in a circle and lit our candles while singing "Silent Night." It lasted maybe 45 minutes. Drew, Carrie and Anna were there, but we all went our separate ways from church. As Jane and I were cleaning up at church and getting ready for Sunday morning, we both kind of came unglued a little bit. It is no fun to be serving in a church where no one likes you and you have no friends (not that we don't have any, but it sure doesn't seem like it right now). So we left church and drove home in tears. It was one of the worst Christmas Eve's I've ever had.
I laid awake most of the night stressing over all the issues going on at church right now, and only got about two hours of sleep before getting up on Christmas Day. We didn't have Sunday School, but just had the 10 am service. So Jane and I left about 8 and went to the church to get stuff ready. She prepared the communion elements, since the person who usually does that now seems to be part of the group that doesn't like us. I made the coffee and did my usual Sunday morning stuff. I had been thinking of singing that song "Mary Did You Know" but wasn't sure if I would or not - partly because I can't hear out of my right ear right now, and partly because I didn't know if any of our two/three sound techs were going to be there. So at the last minute, when they were actually all there, I decided to. Then we just sang some more Christmas hymns, I shared a brief message (6 pages instead of 8), we had communion with juice and oyster crackers, and we had a pretty long time of sharing praises. It was actually a pretty good service. I thought we would get out early, but it actually went to the regular dismissal time (11:07).
After church we went home, and Drew, Carrie and Anna came over, and Isaac was there when we got home. So Isaac, Drew and myself took a load of pizza's to the women's shelter. We take them Pizza Hut pizza on the fourth Sunday of every month, and since it was on Christmas Day this year, we didn't know what to do, since Pizza Hut was closed. We called the shelter and they said they would rather have cold pizza than have us make something homemade. So we bought 11 pizza's and 5 bottles of pop on Saturday and kept them in our garage until Sunday. Good thing it was cold enough to keep it cold. While we did that, Jane and Carrie got lunch ready. Jane had already cooked the turkey and potatoes and everything, so it just needed warmed up. We had a super good lunch, then opened presents, then we all went downstairs and watched the DVD of "A Christmas Story" and most of us fell asleep (I slept big-time). Then Drew & Carrie went to Drew's mom's house for Christmas, and then later they came back and we had leftovers for supper. I pretty much just laid around all day. I suppose it was around 9 or so when all the kids left.
I was surprised by Jane - she got me something for Christmas that I wasn't even expecting. It's one of those new/vintage record players. It plays albums, but also cd's, cassettes, and has a dock for an ipod, as well as a usb port. She also got me some albums: a Bob Dylan (new) and a John Prine and Neil Young (used). Isaac also got me a used Jimi Hendrix album. Drew & Carrie got me this Bob Dylan book that I had been wanting (it's a big reading book along with some music in it). So it was quite a haul compared to what I was expecting.
I got Jane the usual Ansel Adams calendar, as well as 2 tickets to see the Young Frankestein performance at the Embassy in January. We got Isaac a bookshelf, some books, and some stocking stuffer type stuff (and money); we got Carrie a Shark floor cleaner (it is partly Drew's too), as well as some smaller stuff; we got Drew a game, a car defroster, and some smaller stuff (and money for Drew Carrie); we got Anna a 'See-and-Say', some clothes, and a wooden rocking horse. She seemed pretty excited about the rocking horse.
Now it's back to the grind. I will go into the office for a bit today, but this is technically supposed to be my holiday day to make up for Christmas (which is supposed to be a paid day off - whatever that is). From a family standpoint, it was a really good Christmas (other than not seeing my parents). It is nice having a house that we can actually fit everyone in. From a church standpoint, this was the worst. I don't even know what more to say. We are thinking of canceling our vacation plans to Nashville for New Year's, if that gives you any indication.
I will also probably be disabling this blog, or making it completely private. I will likely just be using it for personal record-keeping purposes. I will miss the interaction, and I hate the idea of ending this, but I guess all good things must come to an end someday. So... if anyone is still readying... merry christmas, and happy new year.
Peace out; and in.