Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Christmassy stuff

My eldest and I went shopping yesterday, and we noticed that already certain Christmas items are being replace by Valentine's Day items in the stores. Now this makes sense from the marketing standpoint - the sooner you get things out on the shelves the more stuff people will buy. You know how it is. If you buy your Halloween candy right after Labor Day, you're sure to eat it all up long before Halloween and then you have to buy more, so the store ends up selling you twice as much as if they waited until the week of Halloween to set out those giant bins of treats. And so, on the day after Christmas, all the ornaments and decorations will be drastically reduced and within another day or two the aisles will be filled with candy hearts.

What always surprises me, though, is the number of houses that don't have their lights turned on after Christmas Eve, and all the poor discarded Christmas trees on the curb awaiting trash pick up just a day or two later. When I was growing up, practically everybody put up their trees and lights a week or two before Christmas, and took them down after New Year's.

Sunday evening, we decorated our church for Christmas - poinsettas in the sanctuary, luminarias leading up to the front doors, wreaths on the doors, a tree in the parish hall which all the children decorated, and lights in all the shrubbery and trees in the courtyard - and then yesterday, Mike bought our tree, which is sitting in a bucket of water on the carport waiting to be brought in on Friday. Today, the kids started making red and green paper chains and white paper angels to decorate the house with, and tomorrow or the next day, I'll put our evergreen wreath on the front door and hang greenery around the front room, bring out the Nativity scene and all the candles, and Mike will hang the lights on the house.

Our church has two Christmas Eve services, one at 5:30 to which we'll take the kids, and one at 11:00. We're thinking about going to the 11:00 service - just Mike and me. I suppose it will depend on how tired we are, because we will all be going to the Christmas morning service at 10:00. This is really exciting to me. I only remember being in church on Christmas morning one other time in my life - back in 1994 when Christmas happened to fall on Sunday.

Yesterday when Mike went out to buy the tree, Mosey, who stayed home with me, kept running around the house shouting, "We're getting a Christmas tree!" She does this every year. She always sounds like she thinks that since we do not yet have a tree, we will therefore not have one at all.

I asked Elai and Mosey what they thought of the way we celebrated Advent and Christmas last year, and so far this year. "It doesn't feel like Christmas yet." "It feels like we're just waiting for Christmas to come and it'll never get here!" I told them that I think that's how Advent is supposed to feel.

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