Monday, December 24, 2012

12 Days of Christmas : Day 11 : Christmas Eve

Kelly from Exceptionalistic, Becky from Tales of Beauty for Ashes, and I are now eleven days into our 12 Days of Christmas series.  I can't believe we're nearly to the end!  This has been so much fun.  I hope you have enjoyed the series.  You can follow the tag "12 Days of Christmas 2012" by clicking HERE.

Today is all about Christmas Eve.  We're talking about favorite traditions, routines, plans, and so on.  Way back on Day 1 of this series, I shared my favorite Christmas memories.  The holidays were filled with family events.  We made lots of visits to various family members and we hosted family at our home.  We went to church together for Midnight Mass when I was younger.  In more recent years, it was the Christmas Eve service which would have us home by a decent time - well before midnight!

Our family's journey has taken a different course.  A lot of it has to do with Peyton.  We just can't travel with her to Canada like we used to for Christmas.  We can't fly with her - we'd have to charter our own plane to carry all she needs!  To drive would require three days of travel time - in each direction.  Her health is so fragile that it really would be scary to make that trip.  Forget not knowing where we'd stop along the way in the event of an emergency, but once there, the hospital that is up there would not be able to handle her!  We just cannot put ourselves in that situation.

So we've changed course and we spend our Christmases here at our home in Charleston.  We've been fortunate to have Ron's mom visit us - I think - each year that we've been here.  It is nice to have at least one family member come visit over the holidays since we do not have any family living here in town.

If you've been following this blog a while, you will know that my faith journey has taken a different course as well over the years.  I am more spiritually satisfied and fulfilled today than I ever have been.  I have a personal relationship with God that I just never had before.  Nowadays, for me, it is a highlight of my holiday season to get to spend Christmas at my own church.  We attend a large multi-site interdenominational church.  The funny thing is, if you were to study the demographics of the parishioners, you'd find that the vast majority are former Catholics!  The services, however, are nothing like what I grew up with!  And that is all good.  I love our church.  I love our church family.  I love our pastor.  I love the church leadership.  I love how they love the people in the church.  I love how the people of the church love each other.  I've never seen so many people in one place ready and willing to be the hands and feet of Christ.  It's not just talk.

At our church this year, our Christmas services began over the weekend.  Christmas is tomorrow - a Tuesday - but our Christmas services run from Saturday through Monday.  It's the same message over those three days.  Christmas Day, however, is a day of rest.  There are no church services!  That, to me, seemed very strange at first, but I get it.  Our pastor is married with four adult children and nine young grandchildren.  He "gets" family life.  The day is meant to be spent with the family.  Honestly, I have no problem with this.  We attended our usual Sunday service yesterday.  It was beautiful.  The music was wonderful.  If you remember my post from Day 8, you might remember it was about favorite songs.  Would you know, the second song we sang to open the service was this very song!!  I was so excited!  Here it is again if you missed it:

Here are some pics from church yesterday:

Since we have already been to church, you might wonder what our plans are now.  Well, Christmas Eve will be filled with house cleaning and some cooking.  I've been sick this past week and, to be honest, the thought of doing any of that is rather daunting.  We'll divide and conquer and it will all get done!

Tomorrow, Christmas Day, we'll celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.  We'll spend time as a family at home, we'll exchange gifts and we'll have a nice dinner later in the day.  What are your plans??

Feel free to grab the button below and be sure to link up your posts sharing your own favorite Christmas memories!  Don't forget to enter our giveaway which we posted on Day 5!

12 Days of Christmas 2012

We have one last post in this series:

12/25: Christmas Meaning: what Christmas means to us

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