I have begun the day with a big glass of cold V8 juice, and I may drink another one. It's a good day to front load veggies, and drinking them is easier than chewing.
I'll be going to all 3 church services: the 5:00 service with the ukulele band leading the songs, the 7:30 service with children (and pre-teens and a stray teenager or two) leading much of it, and the 11:00 service where my husband will sing and play the violin. Then we will stay to count the money and make a bank deposit. I'm tired just thinking about it.
Luckily there will be time for a nap, and tomorrow will be low-key and revolve around cooking. I am glad from a weariness perspective that we don't have small children in our lives right now.
Of course, from a magic and wonder aspect, it's always fun to have children around. I'd likely go to the 7:30 service, even if I wasn't playing the hand chimes. I remember one year as we stood in line for Communion, one of the toddlers caught sight of the manger, which had been empty for Advent, but now had a Baby Jesus in the manger. The toddler squirmed with excitement in his mother's arms and screamed, "Mommy, Mommy, look. It's the BABY JESUS!" Then he sighed in contentment and said, "I love that baby."
Last night we took my spouse to one last choir practice, and my friend and I drove around neighborhoods looking at lights--it's one of my favorite things to do as the holidays approach. I'd been watching one display go up slowly: a fringe of plastic on the fence and a heap of Styrofoam jaggedness. Then there was an abominable snow man.
We'd only see him during the day. Last night, we saw what happens after dark:
I don't have any pictures of the understated houses that we saw. This one won the prize for over-the-topness:
Note the reindeer parking area in the foreground, complete with names for each reindeer.
I should note that my friend took these shots with her iPhone. My camera doesn't take such good pictures once the sun sets.
So far, it's been a great holiday--we've had several visits with family that went well, and yesterday we had a great lunch with friends from church and the drive with a different friend to look at lights. We've done a pretty good job at identifying what's important to keep in our Christmas season and what we can set aside for a year, and thus, it's not as high-stress a time as it is for many people.
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