Favorite things that I remember about Christmas as I was growing up:
- Listening to Christmas music on our stereo – Yes, these were the 33 rpm vinyl records that were played with a needle. Even though we only played them in December, I can remember every song from memory, every musical arrangement, and the fun of singing with my sisters.
- Christmas caroling – I had a group of friends that I would get together with and we would go throughout the neighborhood singing for our neighbors. Afterwards, we would gather at my house and warm up with some hot chocolate and talk about the evening’s events.
- Christmas Eve Mass – I was an altar boy in the Catholic Church for several years. I used to love Christmas Midnight Mass because that was when the priests would break out all of the candles and incense and bells. We would have this grand processional to begin the mass. My mother did not like to stay up late and always asked me to not sign up for that late mass, but I always did and would come up with some fake excuse as to why I got scheduled again. I have a feeling she knew that I loved that mass, so she never got upset.
- Christmas Eve day at the mall – in my late teens and early twenties, I used to go to the mall on Christmas Eve day just to watch all of the hustle and bustle of the many folks who had not finished their shopping. They looked exhausted. However, I was impressed by the smiles and patience that the various store clerks showed to their customers. My gift wrapping skills were not strong, so I would often bring many of the gifts that I had already bought and take them to the gift wrapping stations scattered around the mall. For a buck or so for each gift, they would wrap the gifts in a professional and elegant manner. Usually, the money went to some charity, so I felt I was doing my part to make a small difference in the world.
This Christmas I would like to relive these memories. My family has all of the old Christmas music, only now on CDs, and have already started listening.
I am hoping that we will have a good group to go Christmas caroling with us on the 9th of December following our 10:30 worship to entertain retirement homes in the area. There will be a small meal before we head out.
For those tired and exhausted folks who have finally finished all of their Christmas preparations, I would like to invite you to our Musical Christmas Gift at 8:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, just prior to the 9 p.m. worship service. All you have to do is have a seat and listen to favorite Christmas music sung and played by our Chancel Choir, Wesley Ringers, pianist, and organist. I hope that this will be a time of relaxation for you. Then join us for worship at our 9 p.m. traditional Christmas service.
Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas season (and wish me luck at the mall on Christmas Eve day),
Steven Burchard, Director of Music