There was good news and bad news about this Christmas. The good news (which really far outweighs anything else, if you think about it) is that we live close to both of our families. As a result, every year we get five Christmases – My family, Jared’s family, my extended family, Jared’s extended family, and the two of us. The bad news (which is only bad if you’re too busy stressing out about Christmas to focus on the good news) is that, because of the two Christmas eve services we helped with and leaving for Urbana tomorrow morning, we had to fit all of those five Christmases into twenty-four hours of yuletide insanity.
Christmas services at St. Tims are always neat – candlelight and greens everywhere transforming our usual worship space into a rather glorious scene.
But things were even more fim this year because of the recent major jolt the worship team has gotten from a couple new members. I had only cast off and wrapped my last knitted Christmas gift a few hours earlier, but as we waited in the choir loft for the first service to start, Jared made me feel a lot better:
After the first service, which included a randomly hilarious Christmas pageant, Jared and I made a beeline for home and our own Christmas celebration. We stopped only for Chinese, which, according to my coworker, is the traditional Jewish Christmas meal. For some reason I am tickled pink by this. Any Hanukkah celebrators out there care to corroborate?
Miraculously, our own festivities fit into the space allotted for them between services, and we got back to church in time for the second service. Also miraculously, my voice was not completely shot by the time for my solo, which was at the very end of the service. From there, it was another beeline to Jared’s parent’s house, where we spent last night. Even though it was around 1 am by the time we snuck in the front door, we didn’t go straight to bed.
Jared stayed up to finish and wrap them, and I stayed up to keep him company (and to swatch a bit with some of the yarn he got me. More on that another day).
Imagine our shock the following morning when, at 8 a.m., we found that we were not the last people out of bed, not by a long shot. Jared and his bro took care of waking up duties (including the newest Osborn holiday tradition of waking the last person in bed with a ceremonial mooning). But before long, everyone was up and opening stockings, singing carols, and telling the Christmas story.
Among the many awesome presents swapped, Jared’s socks for his dad (which were wrapped for probably a grand total of 3 hours, since they were “blocked” overnight) fit perfectly,
As did the socks I made for Mom O, quite a while ago.
The most exciting present coming from our household was for the smallest person present: a baby surprise surplice made by Jared, out of artyarns supermerino.
I got something really really awesome too, but that deserves a post of its own. Around midday we departed from the Osborn festivities and swung by Jared’s grandparents house (this is #3, if you’re keeping track), where we just had time for a short visit before moving on to the Jennings family Christmas. #4 was a visit to the Strub end of the Jennings/Strub compound (that’s code for: I visited my grandmother and uncle and aunt, who live right in front of my parents), and #5 was back at my parents’ side of the property. We did lots of other things than open presents, but I just want to show you the knitterly ones:
Last but by no means least:
There are not words.
Jared and I are departing early tomorrow morning for St. Louis, MO, for Urbana 09. This will be our second Urbana conference, since the first was so much more than a missions conference, but a celebration of the whole church around the world and an incredible inspiration for anyone who wants to work for her. As such we expect to be incommunicado for a while, but stay tuned: Remember all those presents I could never tell you about? Well now it’s Christmas, and they’ve been opened, so, well… I can tell you about them!
I hope very much that you have had as blessed a holiday as we have. See you next year!