Friday, December 24, 2010
I am an unabashed fan of Christmas music. This is the first year that the little man is really into them-the caroling trip from school did the trick!
Normally, on Christmas Eve, either panic or serenity sets in. This year, its serenity for the most part. I really can't go anywhere or do anything. I think we might need some stocking stuffers, but thats pretty much it.
I admit I.do miss the late service at Trinity. It's been years, but there was such a stroke of Christmas magic that entered into the whole environment. Watching the old choiristers process in, the carol sing along before the service...it was so much fun for me. Then, at the end of the service, the lights would dim during Silent Night, space by space, until the church is dark and the bells are ringing at the end. it was magical and incredibly spiritual.
There is something about the Anglican service that stirs my soul, and for me, gets me into the holiday spirit.
I love the traditional Christmas specials-Rudolph, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, the original Grinch and of course, Charlie Brown. I love watching them with the little man, and its part of our holiday traditions.
This year I didn't do any baking (year 2 of that). I am sad I didn't do any ahead of time, but I "didn't have time". More like, I just didn't feel like it. My cookie collection includes: pumpkin spritzes (starts the season off right); pointsettia cookies, peppermint bark, chocolate bliss, peanut butter surprise, and the usual gingerbread and sugar cookies. When little man was younger, he liked to help decorate cookies for Santa.
Despite me not baking this year, I did find cookies in Target to decorate and we bought cookie dough to bake. Done and done.
Going back to Trinity, another thing I miss about that place is the St. Nicholas Bazaar the first weekend in December. Leading up to it was the gingerbread house making, which was oodles of fun. Then there was the wreath making, another fun evening. And the preview party was always one of my favorite nights out for the YEAR! It was fun & fellowship, and it helped kick off the Christmas season for me.
Another thing I miss is the Messiah sing along held at the Princeton University chapel. I admit, I can't sing well but I love to make a joyous noise. I always loved the Messiah, and this is my only chance to sing it. I also enjoyed it at the Tabernacle at Temple Square when I lived in Salt Lake City.
My other favorite holiday thing to.do is drive around and look at Christmas lights. There were neighborhoods in northern New Jersey-Rochelle Park & Manhood most notably-where they had the highest concentration of tacky plastic light up decorations on the smallest pieces of property. It's very kitchsy & retro, and was always fun. I made it a day, to do this. I'd go up on a Saturday, visit friends, go to Garden State Plaza & shop; go out to dinner at the Suburban Diner or this little Italian restaurant in Ho Ho Kus whose name escapes me. Then we would get peppermint hot cocoa, drive around & look at the lights & enjoy the season.
I like the 7 fishes of Christmas Eve tradition, but the Big Man doesn't eat fish. It's an Italian thing, and since I married one...but its not to be done.
We don't have a traditional Christmas dinner tradition. Some years we have ham, others chicken...this year is lasagna with tortellini soup. And garlic bread. I love garlic bread!
I have to admit, my mother in law did the cooking this year.
I'm just an observer.
And its ok. O come, let us adore Him.