Yesterday morning, as well as this morning during the bible study hour, I lead our church's children, along with our Pastor and many helpers, through our Christmas program. It is coming together beautifully! A few days ago, in frustration I'd stated.. I'm not doing this next year. I say that, but in all likelihood, I will. I can't help myself at times. I love being in the center of it all, yet, I'm not the center of attention. I'm simply in the hub of it all, watching it happen around me. I'm enjoying the spirit of the Christmas season!
After church, John and I dropped the kids off at my sister's house for the afternoon, and made a run to Home Depot to get the parts necessary to fix the pump (but still lacking all the parts, in the end). This is the pump to our irrigation, which you may recall, was damaged in last weekend's birthday party. During church this morning, I discussed this afternoon's tree trimming and caroling party at our church, with my friend, and fellow church member, Amanda. I told her I felt it was "sad" that in the past, it has been typically one family, maybe two, that has come up and decorated the tree. Amanda said I'd inspired her, and that her whole family would attend the confirmation class this afternoon, despite her sinus attack, and they'd join us in the church. She did.. and they did. We were joined by several children, and family members, and in the end, I think we might have had close to 15 people at the church this afternoon for all the events. At 4 o'clock, we had caroling. During the final tree trimmings, I'd considered my part "finished", (I'd climbed the ladder, and put the lights around the tree, and installed the star), so I moved on to background music. I made the decision this afternoon to bring my viola along, and I played Christmas carols while the children continued to add the Chrismons to the Christmas tree. My mother in law was having a fit, from the way the kids were placing the bottom ornaments, and I reminded her, these children had their grandmothers and parents there to supervise, and to just "let it be". If she felt the ornaments were too close in the end, she could straighten them up after everyone else had left the church. The only way to get others to attend this function every year, is to allow it to be enjoyable to all... not a chore.
Finally, everyone was finished, and our church's choir director, Robert showed up with his girlfriend. He was there to play the piano for the Christmas caroling. He and I did our part to entertain and lead everyone in hymns, and what wasn't in the hymnal, I'd brought along my Hal Leonard "Big Book of Christmas Carols", which contained holiday favorites, like O Christmas Tree, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, and others.
In the 10 years that I've been a member of my church, this was the first time I'd attended this function, and I'm glad I did. I was completely alone, in that, I didn't have to tend to my children, or worry that my husband felt the activity was "corny". It was pure enjoyment for me! I loved it! When it was time for our chili dinner, I ran to my sister's house, thankfully only 5 minutes away, and picked up the kids, including my soon to be 9 year old niece, Caitlyn. They wanted to come with me, eat some chili, and play on the playground. My sister had fed them dinner at her house, so I told them to go play on the playground, while I enjoyed my chili! I'm glad I made the additional effort to get them, and include my niece. She asked me on the way home, if she could come to church on Christmas Eve. I told her, absolutely, she just needed to ask her mom. I hope my sister will now make the effort to come that evening, and not make up the many excuses why they just can't come to church that night. It's Christmas.. where else should you be, other than church???
A few of my neighbors and I had discussed the idea Friday, of going Christmas caroling tomorrow evening on our street. I think the idea must have leaked out, because this evening, there were people walking around singing carols. I'm wondering now, if we do it, will we look like copy cats? I didn't see them, and hoped intensely that they wouldn't be knocking on our door, as they passed by at 9:00pm. My children were asleep, and I desperately wanted to keep it that way! I'll have to check with my neighbors tomorrow to see who was involved in this evening's event, and if everyone I've contacted still wants to do it. I think it's a great way to spread the good news of our Savior's birth!