If kids are not around, can Christmas Day be exciting?
Of course it can. For one thing, kids can telephone from wherever they are now living and in the course of the conversation, the grandkids can also get on the phone and it can be a really interesting morning. With five wonderful grandchildren I’m always promised chats that include considerable diversity in interest, things being done and hopes for the future. No different this year. All are doing well, all are interesting, all are fascinating actually and they are all happy.
And even before I arrived at Christmas morning, Christmas Eve was an enjoyable time this year. The morning service at St. Andrew’s while not highly attended was a joyful moment. Good music and interesting scriptures allowed me to have a restorative time of reflection — both for the year past, which has been filled with interesting and unique moments and for the year to come. There are interesting times ahead both for the local congregation and the national church. I also hope that 2018 will see the final draft of my book come into view and that too has church-related components!!
In the afternoon phone calls were made to my 100 year old mother and to the widow of one of my earliest friends. Both were uplifting. To be 100 and still look forward to Christmas morning is certainly special. To be an active church leader and local political leader (mayor) and move from the farm to a condo all in one year and still be able to laugh is a trait I’d hope I could have as I approach my eighties. After the calls, headed back to church for the Christmas Eve service. This time, not necessarily surprising, the church was full. More importantly the minister had designed a very active service, with lots of music, a very brief message backed up by interesting selections of scripture (two from Isaiah and one from the gospels). While for many this service is the only one that they will attend in a year, it is still neat to see and hear such people take a very active part in the service by singing with gusto and listening with attentiveness. It was a good feeling as the service ended. Three best friends then came to the little cottage for some post-service conversation and refreshments. Christmas Eve concluded gently and with a sense of peace.
Christmas Day was slow and somewhat lazy — maybe even peaceable. Conversations with kids. Opening of gifts including the Christmas stockings!! Walking in the brisk air (it is rather chilly for the Okanagan — -8C — but I received no sympathy from my son who indicated that this year Albertans are not interested in showing compassion to British Columbians suffering under single digit negative temperature readings — as my mother had indicated the day before, with their temperatures getting close to -30C and a windchill likely pushing it further down, it was no time for me to complain!!). Christmas dinner is a tradition now in Penticton — my long time (almost 45 years) friends the Bobbitts are the hosts. They too have a new (i.e. different and somewhat smaller home) and it makes for a cozy setting. Again the food was superb, the conversation engaging and a simply delightful time was had by all. Made me again realize how wonderful and supportive friendship can be.
And that brings me to Boxing Day…but that will await the next Part in this story. Right now I have to go pack the SUV…am headed for the coast as the youngest Grandson is playing in an international hockey tournament, and that takes precedent over completing this part of the literary journey.