Tuesday, December 18

Christmas on Cruise Control

Well - I survived the toughest week I had for this Christmas season...two or three dinner parties (one may have just counted as an open house...), playing handbells, the Christmas party for the JIFF program, a bit of caroling and the big humdinger: THE CHRISTMAS MUSICAL! I enjoyed aspects of every one of those activities - but I am one tired elf. I am looking forward to just skating through the rest of my Christmas holiday!

I begin with a lovely concert tonight of the Bells of the Blue Ridge at Quaker Memorial Presbyterian. And this year I'm getting there an hour early so I can actually SEE the bells! For someone who looks like a deer caught in the headlights when I'm playing handbells...it is absolutely amazing to see the Bells of the Blue Ridge perform. They don't look like they're counting (at least their lips aren't moving) or trying to figure out what measure they are in. And I just think that Christmas music sounds incredible when played by a few octaves of handbells. They actually have some of those really, really low bells that are large enough to be worn as a hat!

Tomorrow evening I will be whisked away by big church van (sometimes I refer to the event as being shanghaied...) to the wonderful town of Bedford. I will get to fellowship with cool chicks from one of our church circles (they keep me as an annual mascot even though I technically am a member of a different circle). We will dine on soup and salad (yeah, I didn't come up with the menu) and then we will have our gift exchange. We each will bring a wrapped gift worth about ten bucks and we sit in a circle with the gift on our lap. Belva will read the Christmas Story and she chooses two words, such as "the" and "star" and we have to pass the gifts to the right on one word and to the left on the other word. If you get confused you just follow the direction that most of the people are passing. At the end of the story you open the gift in your hands. I don't think she has ever screwed up and people ended up with their own gift - but it may be possible!

After dinner and the gift exchange everyone piles in the big blue church van and we proceed to see the lights at The Elks Home and a nearby park. The best is the drive through the Elks Home (we always go through twice) because with so many eyes...we find a lot of stuff that tickles our funny bones. The Elks Home light display is a series of lighted displays ranging from the Christmas Story (pay close attention to the Cyclops wise man and Gabriel with the painted nails) to a Christmas Village where there seems to be a drug deal going down near the Hardware store. And then there is the can't miss Marilyn Monroe skater who seems to be holding a lit cigarette.

If only Christmas lights photographed well - I'd share some of this with you...perhaps I'll try again this year. My new phone might be capable!

So...with a less frantic week, I hope to share some more posts. I need to dig up some pictures and tell you about all the ugly Christmas trees of my youth! But for that - pictures are a must, you won't believe me otherwise!!

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