So, here’s where we are eleven days before Christmas.
Decorating: Completed! We have been enjoying our outdoor decorations as they come on automatically each evening, and our indoor decorations, including a trimmed Christmas tree, every day for the past week or so. Check that one off the list.
Cookie baking: We got a pretty good start last Saturday when daughter ‘Chelley and grandchild Steph joined younger son Kevin and his family (wife Jennifer and children Kai, Kaden, and Kalista) to come to our home and bake up a storm along with Evelyn, Karlyn, Karlyn’s boyfriend Steven, and me. Each family brought their own dough so that when all was said and baked, we had a kind of “cookie exchange” to top off the event.
Shopping: I’ve already received several gifts via mail order to give Evelyn and Karlyn. However, Evelyn informed me last night that we still have more shopping to do. Since she no longer drives, I serve as her in-house Uber and in-store shopping assistant. I had wanted her to use her wheelchair so I could push her around the store and not worry about the battery on her scooter dying, but she pointed out two problems with that: 1) she didn’t know where we would put any bags of purchases, and 2) I had taken the wheelchair out to the RV when I swapped it out for her scooter. She then said that she wanted to do most of her shopping at Walmart. “So, can you use one of their scooters?” I asked. They have large baskets on them, and it would solve the bag-carrying problem. She agreed. Thank goodness. I still have some comparatively minor shopping to do, as I already have her “large” gifts.
Christmas Newsletter: The only real progress on this one to date is that Evelyn has made great strides in getting the envelopes addressed. She and I still have to sit down, go over our calendars, and decide what thrilling adventures to include in the report. Then, of course, I have to try to word it in such a way that our family and friends will not get bored with it halfway through. You can bet that last summer’s 127 Yard Sale vacation will be a major part of our story.
Christmas Worship: This is really the most important “preparation” we have on our agenda. I usually sing “The Ballad of the Christmas Donkey” at the Christmas Eve service, which I may still do, even though Pastor Wes asked for the song to be sung this past Sunday (he’s preaching a sermon series on some of the main characters in the Nativity story, and last Sunday, his topic was the donkey. He seems to like the “Christmas Donkey” song, and the praise band seems to enjoy playing it with me, so it was a lovely rendition that was presented to the congregation). Will the congregation think it’s overkill to hear the song twice in the same Christmas season? Guess we’ll find out. I have little Christmas story booklets for the children who may be there, so I think my part is solidly in place.
I just have to be sure that my heart and mind are properly prepared, which I’ve been striving to do every morning in my solitary devotional time. Reading the related scriptures and the thoughts of those who have contributed to the Upper Room Disciplines keeps me on track. I decided to pull Rev. Susan Sparks’ Miracle on 31st Street devotional down from the shelf and add that to my usual readings. It’s been a nourishing practice, keeping me spiritually focused and on track.
The proof of the pudding will be what happens on December 25th.