I love Christmas. Not only do I love the reminders of Christ’s birth, the carols, the decorations, and the food (oh yes, the food!), I also love the general joyfulness of the season. And depending on how you look at life, you may find a reason to smile almost everywhere you look. Unless, of course, you get in a discussion about eggnog with your friends, in which case you try not to gag. I’m sorry, but anything involving the word nog is an automatic turn-off. I mean, eww.
So anyway, here’s a recap of some of the beautiful moments I’ve experienced recently. ‘Tis the season to be jolly!
Last week I helped my grandparents set up their Christmas tree. To do this, someone had to climb up in their attic and remove the tree, send it down the ladder like a prickly toboggan, and then take it downstairs to assemble. I love their attic, so I volunteered to do the dirty work. After being assured the insulation did not contain asbestos (which I had studied in Environmental Biology earlier that day), I began the hunt.
Here’s a low-res cellphone picture of me after I spent 75 years (give or take 75 years) trying to plug in the light bulb (“Smartphone-with-decent-camera” is on my Christmas wish list, by the way):
After locating the box, I stuck my hand in to pull out what I thought was one of the branches. But lo and behold, what do I find? A machete! Yes, you read that right: I unsheathed a machete, samurai-style. Thankfully, I didn’t lose any appendages, which is pretty much miraculous since I’m known for my “incidents.”
Oh, look! I took a picture with it:
“Um, Grandad, what did I just find?”
“Oh, yeah! That’s my machete from Columbia, South America!”
“I see. It almost killed me.”
I volunteer in the children’s choir at my church. Sometimes they act like little adults, and sometimes they just crack me up. Those kids are the best. They’re currently learning some songs for our Christmas program, and one of the songs is “Silent Night.”
When the kids came to the word “yon” in the song, they were given an explanation of what it meant. That actually wasn’t hard to explain, since folks ‘round these parts say “yonder” all the time. Y’know, like, “It’s over yonder!” Or if you want to talk real good, “Hey, y’all! I reckon I’m fixin’ to go over yonder!” Please don’t be jealous of my fluency. I’ve spent two decades perfecting it.
But then, they came to the next word.
“What’s that ‘v’ word?” One student asked.
“What ‘v’ word?”
“Virgin.” Oh, this’ll be fun. I wasn’t the one to answer this, because I have problems with tact, but the director explained it basically meant a woman who wasn’t married.
Then the the student said, “My mom’s a virgin.”
Then, after pondering this for a moment, “Oh, maybe not.”
Y’all, I almost passed out. When I was in elementary school, whenever I heard that part of the song, I wasn’t concerned with the technical meaning. Because, frankly, whenever I heard “’Round yon virgin, mother and child,” I pictured Mary and Baby Jesus on a carousel, going around in circles under the stars. Actually *cough* I still picture that. Moving on…
This next segment is called, “I Tried to Hang the Greens.” I’m thinking that could make a pretty sweet poem title. It’s dedicated to our Music Minister. He had a view of the action from down below as he led the congregation in some Christmas carols, and asked if I would share the experience from my perspective. So Bro. Tom (and those of you who are currently stalking me on the Internet…), here we go:
My church did something really different and really cool this year. We had a “Hanging of the Greens” service. Blame it on my Southern upbringing, but whenever I hear “hanging of the greens,” I think of collard greens. Them’s good eatin’. But that’s not what the service was about. What we really did was come together to sing Christmas carols and decorate the Sanctuary. And then we had pound cake. It was an excellent night.
After singing “Silent Night,” (for previously mentioned reasons, I refrained from singing a certain part so I wouldn’t lose it during the song), along with some other Christmas hymns, everyone went to a different area to decorate. My group’s job was to actually hang the greens (garland, not leafy veggies). So we all went up to the balcony to hang the greens thing over the railing. But we soon hit a snag and couldn’t figure out how it was supposed to be hung.
Below us, a group of people were singing carols, and as each group finished their task, they would join the carolers. One by one, the groups finished adorning their section and returned to their seats. Except for the balcony people. But I mean, if our greens had cooperated and been the correct lengths, the people below us wouldn’t have had the chance to hear a gospel-sounding rendition of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” or whatever it was. I am not a problem solver, so after a few minutes I just started wandering around the balcony, waiting on something to happen. I’m sure that helped somehow.
Long story short, the greens eventually experienced their hanging, we finished the service, and I got some cake and way too much punch. ‘Twas amazing.
Here is a conversation I had with my grandmother:
Me: Grandma, you and Grandaddy should hang up some mistletoe.
Grandma: Oh, we don’t need mistletoe!
Me: I meant for decoration…
(Yes, my grandparents are the best)
And here’s a conversation I had with my 2 1/2 year old sister:
Me: What do you know about Santa?
Ellen: He be in Heaven.
We’ll have to work on that…and her adorably annoying grammar.
So there you have it: a recap of some of the holly jolly fun I’ve experienced so far. I’ll refrain from sharing my commentary on the song called “Deck the Halls.” I don’t think the World Wide Web is ready for that.
Hey, it’s only the first week of December. Who knows what else will happen between now and Christmas? Make sure you subscribe to the blog so you won’t miss out on the other holly jolly happenings (I don’t even know what that means – it’s just fun to say) that are sure to be blogged about!
P.S. I still don’t know why that machete was in the Christmas tree box…