Merry Christmas to one and all. I hope that everyone enjoyed their celebrations as much as our family did.
Now since I'm sure you are all sitting on pins and needles, filled with anxiety about the happenings of our Christmas adventures, I will relate our entire holiday itinerary for your enjoyment and fullfillment.
Actually, I just have one small bit of interest about our Christmas Eve night. We started Chistmas Eve by going to our 7pm church candlelight service. We really enjoy our church. So much so, that two years ago, when our church needed new hymnals, we bought three of them and donated them to the church in memory of two of my grandfathers and one of Lady Di's grandfathers all of whom had passed in recent years. That was two years ago and we have yet to find one of those hymnals during service. It doesn't help that we always sit in one of two pews at the front of the church. But I still check the inside cover of the hymnals there just in case the ushers, for some reason, decide to rotate the stock every once in a while.
So back to our Christmas Eve service. It was much like past Chrismas Eve services. We sang carols and everyone got to light their little candles while singing Silent Night. This part is the kids' favorite and every year we recite the proper candle lighting procedure. Never tip a lighted candle! Then we view the reason for such a rule, a tiny spot of melted wax on the seat of the pew just in front of where Number One Son stands. This family tradition goes back about five years or so when N1S was less diligent about his flame.
Just as the service was wrapping up, Lady Di noticed that the 9pm service would feature a choir selection and a song by a quartet including a student home from college that we know to have a very good singing voice.
LD then said, "Oh we will have to come back for the 9pm service."
N1S and I both turned simultaneously and whispered with incredulity, "Not two churches in one night!"
Sweet Pea's face lit up because she would get a second chance to play with fire.
So we went home to relax a little before we returned to church. We couldn't even change out of our church clothes! The drive back to the church was a little grumbly from half of us. But N1S and I put on a happy Christmas face and made the best of it. Since we had already heard the sermon, we decided to sit closer to the middle of the congregation. We found a nice couple that we knew to sit with. We enjoyed the choir selection and were quite impressed with the quartet. As we waited for the ushers to start the candle lighting, I noticed the hymnals in front of us. I said, "What the heck.", and opened it. On the inside cover was placed an offical looking sticker stating, This hymnal donated in memory of Emery (Pete) Bell, my paternal grandfather.
I passed the open hymnal to Lady Di, who was so proud of herself for not tearing up during the 7pm candlelighting, and made her immediately well up with emotion and ask for a hanky. Then Sweet Pea saw her name (she is named after this grampa) and passed the hymnal down the pew to show the couple we were sitting next to.
What were the chances that we would attend a second church service, on Christmas Eve, and choose that particular pew to find one of our donated hymnals for the first time?
It made pastor's message about the importance of family even more meaningful.
With all the blessings we have been fortunate enough to enjoy, this warm Christmas message from our loved one will make this year one of our most memorable Christmas Eves.