Outside it's cold and there is snow upon snow upon snow. More than I've ever seen here.
This morning we did as we have done for many Christmas Eve's, although when we started the tradition, because the internet didn't exist we sat by the shortwave radio to listen to BBC Radio's Festival of Nine Lessons And Carols. (How quaint that thought is, "Back before your mother and I had the internet we used to gather around the wireless and listen to the live beautiful music from the other side of the world...")
This morning we continued the tradition and a more worthy tradition there never was. As the live music streams from Kings College in Cambridge Great Britain, travels on cables beneath the ocean and on poles off the ground and through a radio signal to my house, and changes time zones seven times, within seconds it reaches our kitchen radio. There we sip good coffee and enjoy being present at the concert while still in our bathrobes. A modern day miracle.
This year has found me in a particularly good and festive mood and that has been a bit of a surprise to me. The music has been a treat, the decorations delightful, the crowds patient, the lights, trees, packages, all have been a bit of fun this year.
On a year when work has been busier than ever and there are many reasons to get impatient and frustrated and angry, there has been enough grace and patience, and peace and real enjoyment of the season. I think that's my surprise for the season. To the point that when I was at a shop this morning to get a final item, the workers were busy re-merchandising out all the Christmas decorations and replacing the shelves with blankets and containers and such, I was a little sad. Christmas is nearly over.
I shall get over it I imagine.
Tonight is my last piece of christmas work as we prepare for the Christmas Eve service, and I can already feel myself starting to relax into the next few days off. That will be good, I need that as this year has been a big challenge.
So this Christmas it will be Micah and Hillary home with us. Johanna, Nate and the little one, Norah, live far away, and Thomas is at work pumping fuel into jets in Saskatoon this Christmas. So they will be missed, but the six of them are easing Lauralea and I into learning to celebrate Christmas without them around, which is a grace to learn once again.
Another good Christmas thing is that my associate Marc is in the next office working on the meditation for tonight and that has freed me to complete the other details for tonight. It's good having him around. I think I need to go find where we stored the candles from last year and get them cleaned up and ready to hand out for the service here.
So from our family and hearts to you and yours may the joy of Mary upon seeing her new born son be in your hearts and may the love of Christ surround you and shine forth from you; both now and in the year to come.