Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas So Far

It is still 48 hours from C-day but Christmas feels like it is here in some ways already. We've had snow on the ground for the past three weeks, which gives the days extra sparkle and the early evening an ethereal purplish glow that I love.

John started his two-week vacation on Friday so now I get him all to myself until after New Years. Friday night we went to our friend Chris's house for a party. Chris is so creative (he is also our garden designer). He renovated an Arts and Crafts house and has decorated it with vintage 50s modern furniture in just the right way.

Chris is passionate about Christmas lights (even more than I, maybe not as much as my mom). He has strings of the big colored bulbs puddled on top of his frosted glass kitchen cabinets. He collects vintage boxes of lights and has them piled up on his buffet. His staircase was draped with about 6 different kinds of colored lights wrapped together in a way that I probably couldn't pull off. He and his house are lots of fun.

After the party John and I drove up to the new Keystone Arts Cinema to see The Squid and the Whale (thumbs up). We got there early and realized that the theater has a bar in it. When we ordered our drinks, the waitress said we could take them into the theater with us (thumbs WAY up). Soon some friends, John and Anne, who live on the next street over walked in. They were going to the same movie so we just made an evening of it.

Saturday morning our choir had practice for our church's Christmas music on Sunday. In the afternoon I finished my Christmas shopping--the mall was crowded but people were still in a good mood. I also treated myself to dim sum at Shang Hai Lil's. Got home, John and I took a nap. I wrapped some presents. Then we went over to our neighbor's house for dinner and to play Settlers of Catan (fun strategy game). This is one of our favorite winter things to do.

Sunday it snowed the whole day and everything was fresh and white again. We went to John's dad's house for a family Christmas. We had ribs, mac and cheese, and a great time. Our choir's Christmas music was at 4:00. I only sang probably 2/3 of the notes because I was on the verge of tears most of the time. I can't even say (or evidently type) the title “Mary Did You Know?” without choking up. We had a choir party afterwards at Barb and Bob's house-beef tenderloin (thumbs way up again!).

Then our friends Dave and Ken invited us over to open our Christmas presents. We love the book of vintage Christmas they gave us, but Dave painted an ornament that literally took my breath away. He gave it to us, but we had to agree to let him enter it in the Indiana State Fair's Craft competition (holiday ornament category). I'll keep you posted on how it does. Dave has cleaned house in this category before. Two years ago he painted an Easter ornament that I made him swear would be left to me in his will.

Today our first snowbirds and cardinals showed up at the bird feeder outside our kitchen window. Seeing them made me feel like family had arrived for the holidays.

The rest of our week will be full of friends, more family and our church's Christmas Eve midnight service where I will cry all over again because of the music and because the church is so unselfconsciously beautiful when it is crammed full of people who love each other. And the light of candles hovering over the congregation gives the sanctuary a hushed glow-- like a Christmas dream. Afterward we can be quiet, settle in and exhale the spirit of hope and wonder as we welcome Jesus into the world.


Anonymous jennie said...

We sang a version of "Mary Did You Know?" in our Christmas program as well...Such a beautiful song. The chorus built and built to one of the most beautiful choral moments I've ever experienced. Wow. I'm so thankful for music.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Troy said...

I bet you guys sang the same arrangement we did. It was stunning. I've just joined our choir here, and let me tell you, I'm pretty grateful for the time David Tate spent teaching us to sing. I think I took him for granted when I was in Batesville.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous David said...

The pleasure was all mine Troy...I'm glad you and John enjoyed the ornament. Cross your fingers for a little shiny satin ribbon in August. Love you, D.

5:29 AM  

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