To my mind, all of December is Christmastime. Once the calendar reads December 1st, that’s the time to have Christmas music piping through the house, to cheer us as we go about our work, and to prepare special gifts for loved ones. This year, our December was full of fun activities to celebrate the Season—some purely for fun’s sake, others that reminded us of the Reason we celebrate.
December 8th saw us at our church’s annual Love Feast—a special dinner held at the church building. Due to the construction we’re undergoing, the planning got moved to the back burner, so the usually catered dinner turned into a potluck instead—all the better, say I! One fellow remarked the “spread” laid out that night was almost as good as at a Baptist church (or something like that). Which means it was good eatin’ to be had. J After dinner, we sang several Christmas songs out of the hymnal as people called out the page numbers. It was truly wonderful to lift our voices to God, singing familiar words that never seem to grow less special no matter how many years you sing them.
On the 15th, we attended another potluck, and although the occasion wasn’t quite so happy, it was still a joyous occasion in the Eternal sense of things. A dear old saint went Home on the 10th, and the family had her memorial service the following Saturday. For the family and those who knew her, it was a sad occasion, for they are left behind with a hole in their lives that will never be filled. But as Believers, we can rejoice that Pat is with Jesus, singing and praising Him to her heart’s content, and free of all the earthly ailments that weighed her down.
The pastor officiating at the service joined us at the potluck afterwards and said Pat had mentioned our family to him (we visited her last Summer and sang for her). He invited us to sing for the special music at his church in Spokane! We’ll see what comes of that…after the roads thaw out for good. Spokane is scary enough to drive in without that hazard! *Shudder*
Two days after that was our Bible study’s annual White Elephant gift exchange and potluck. Last year I actually found a white china elephant to bring as my gift (he had holes in his ears to hold earrings, and one could stack rings on his trunk). Well, it so happened that Mr. K got him last year—Mr. K who is six-foot-three if he’s an inch, and quite burly. Not the sort of fellow to want a dainty china elephant! So, out of pity for his unfortunate gifting, I offered to trade the slide-rule I got for the elephant. Mr. K didn’t want the slide-rule, but he did give me back the elephant. Well, this year I decided I didn’t need Mr. Elephant, so whoever got him was stuck with him. I just about died of barely-suppressed laughter when Mr. K chose my gift at the party! So, yes, Gentle Readers, poor burly Mr. K got stuck with the dainty china elephant. :-P But considering he has a teenaged daughter at home, Mr. Elephant mightn’t be totally unwanted after all….
On the 20th, our family braved the icy roads and drove to the Regal Cinemas in CdA (since the weather forecast indicated more snow and freezing temps in the days to follow) to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I had tried to organize a Viewing Party with Kellie and Tasha and whomever of their families wanted to come, but it didn’t work out due to scheduling conflicts and iffy December weather. My opinion of the movie is another story entirely, and a review would make this entry way too long. :-P
December 23rd was the annual Christmas program put on by the Sunday school classes at church. Mom was able to get a small vocal ensemble together this year—a group consisting of parents and children, which was really neat because so few kids (especially boys) these days seem interested in singing at all, let alone with their parents! What a blessing to have these well-behaved young folk with us! Not to boast, but I can honestly say our little “choir” was the best part of the program, despite how little rehearsal time we had.
On Christmas Day, while waiting for the gingerbread muffins to bake, we opened our stockings and a few presents. Below are some pix I took:
|Licorice and Domino examine their new toy. Mom eventually got another one|
|"Hmmm...I WONDER what this could be?" :-P|
Mom used up little scraps of wrapping paper to wrap Peter’s gift—Waste Not, Want Not!
|The Man of the House approves|
It’s an axe with a sledge-hammer on the other end of the head—much better than the little hammer and wedge he was using to split firewood!
Peter—thoughtful fellow that he is—remembered Mom’s been wanting a new pair of kitchen shears for quite some time. The ones we had before didn’t cut very well, and the secondary pair were completely rubbish—wouldn’t cut anything! So one fine day, while Mom ran an errand at Office Max, Peter and I nipped over to Target (which is in the same shopping center) and bought these. With a brand name like Kitchen Aid, we figured they ought to be good quality!
|Loverly purple prints from Grandma, plus a pillow-top to finish|
These five “million-dollar bills” were my White Elephant gift this year. They look like the real McCoy, but they are actually cleverly-disguised tracts! I keep them around so’s I can pretend I’m an heiress. :-P
|Tiny charms from Mom that will make perfect hand-mirrors for miniature ladies!|
|Crochet hooks from Grandma--many sizes I didn't have|
|My favorite gift!|
My sneaky mother bought me this dainty little pendant several months ago—right under my nose, to boot!—from the Hospice thrift store where I used to volunteer. The smaller stone is mother-of-pearl, and I *think* the larger one is charoite. The photo really doesn’t capture the shifting, shimmering quality of this stone! I’m in the process of designing a new beaded necklace to put it on.
Peter got me a wireless keyboard and mouse set for my computer, but the keyboard refused to work with any of the computers he tested it with, so he’s in the process of sending it back. L It’s too bad, as the keyboard was the perfect size to fit under the top of my desk.
Being “transplants” from out-of-state, we’re usually alone for holidays of any sort, and while it’s sometimes nice to spend a quiet day at home, it can be rather lonely to celebrate this most special of holidays with “just us’uns.” So Mom asked our pastor if there was anyone in our congregation who was also alone for Christmas, and he gave us the name of an older couple who—I think—attend the first service. (How nice it will be when the construction on the new sanctuary is finished, and we can go to one service and get to know “the other church” that meet at Rathdrum Bible!) Mr. and Mrs. C came over for Christmas dinner—baked ham, green salad and lasagna, with a hot drink consisting of cranberry juice and peppermint tea. We had a great time with the Cs, swapping cat stories, comparing the nationalities we share in our backgrounds, hearing their stories of Mr. C’s time working in the mines, and of course, eating the delicious meal Mom and I had prepared. We may just make it a tradition to open our home to “loners” on Christmas—and that all-too-brief time of the year when the weather is good, too!
Now we are facing a completely new year, one that—we hope and pray—will bring some happy changes to us and our kith and kin.
Until next time, Gentle Readers,