The Demarcation of Christmas


How do you know when the fourth Sunday of Advent becomes Christmas Eve when they are on the same day? I hadn’t a clue, so I left it to the liturgist, John. Maybe I slept through it, taking a nap before the midnight service. All I know is that we had four colored candles in the Advent wreath in the morning, and when I came to the supper table, they had all turned white. Grandson Nathaniel slept through it, too. In fact, he missed Christmas Eve entirely! Thankfully, we have no photos of this. Nathaniel battled a head cold for a week before flying here. He took one dose of Nyquil after our noon dinner, and he didn’t surface again until Christmas morning. John and grandson David both asked him if he would get up to go to the 11 pm service. They saw flickering eyelids and heard groans shaped like “No”. He had no recollection of it the next day.

Because some of us didn’t get to bed until 2 am, we straggled into breakfast at 8. There was no time to look at our stockings or exchange gifts. After going to church (a 45-minute drive away) and getting the dinner in the oven, we gathered around the fireplace to see what Santa had left us. When the children were little, we’d be in our pajamas when we took down our stockings. The excitement just wasn’t the same when the person handing out gifts was dressed in a three-piece suit.


The two younger generations posed with the trinkets Santa gave them.


After our traditional dinner of Chicken and Stuffing casserole, the fellows agreed to pose in front of the Christmas tree. This shot made me smile, because that old mischief-maker John $ was tickling those next to him. They were just about to crumple and explode with laughter.


Nathaniel crowned me with cardboard that looked like a stylized halo in an ancient painting. He borrowed my camera to record this angelic moment. I don’t know if I can live up to it, or if I’ll have to live it down.


Toward the end of the day, our neighbors across the street came to share our Christmas pudding. You need an appreciative audience to sing and cheer the flaming. They performed their part well. In the photo you can see David’s tie, Shawn, Moo, Brittainy, and a little of Logan’s face. Off camera were Bob and Moo and Brittainy’s toddler. It is always enjoyable to spend time with them.

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Christmas was very special, as it always has been. We shared the celebration of God’s coming among us with church friends, family, and neighbors. We pray that all of you had a blessed holiday.