First let me send my wishes for the happiest, merriest, holiest Christmas possible.
Christmas here should be pretty good. The kid is home and there's a lot of laughter in the house. Money is tight for us as for so many others. The reality is that we've never had a lot of money. You don't get rich working in small town radio or for the church. There might be a present or two less under the tree but that's OK. We'll go and visit some relatives. The weather has decided to cooperate which is always nice as well.
Some other thoughts about Christmas have been fussing at me. When I finally unpacked them I realized they weren't worth talking about here. Some folks have problems with Christmas. Some are personal, some are theological. I don't have to enter into their problems.
I love Christmas. I love the emphasis on peace and good will. I wish we took them more seriously and tried to live Christmas every day. I wish the same thing for Easter. For me the story of a family facing all kinds of troubles, struggling to find a roof over their heads and the arrival of a new life into the world always speaks to me. It's perhaps even more poignant this year.
I've always felt a special affection for Joseph, the father of Jesus in this world. I know the emphasis is always on Jesus and Mary and that's fine. But is it really that easy to overlook the man who also heard God's call and answered it. He took up his own burden on faith. Joseph gets forgotten after the Christmas story. Maybe it's just because I too got a surprise baby around this time of year (although certainly Jesus wasn't born this time of year). If you look back at a recent post of mine you'll probably figure out some of my feeling of connection with Joseph.
I can't wait for the midnight service. Even though I'll be "working" rather than comfortable in the pew (in fact only the kid will be in the pew. My lady wife will be the thurifer tonight) I love this service. Of all of it my favorite part is the end. The lights are turned off, the parishioners hold lit candles as we sing "Silent Night" It's a wonderful feeling.
We'll open a present tonight, then have the big opening tomorrow morning. I had never heard of opening presents on Christmas Eve till I moved up here. Apparently it's fairly common around here. Tonight we'll open a small present. Then tomorrow get up a little late (ah, the joy of having a GROWN UP child!), make the Christmas morning special breakfast, open presents with Christmas music playing in the background (TSO and Vince Guaraldi plus more traditional music). It'll be calm and fun as we watch our two little cats exploring through the jungle of shredded paper and pine needles.
I'm looking forward to Christmas. May your Christmas be bright.