Friday’s Fave Five Dec. 27, 2012
Saying and meaning “Thanks” leads to a crazy thought: What more can I give? By Anne Lamott
One. Daughter. It is always a blessing to have adult children home for the holidays. This time was no exception. What made it even sweeter is that she helped me with the Christmas Eve Service. I was anxious – heart-hurting anxious. Elizabeth encouraged me. She soothed me.
Elizabeth made signs, passed out props, and acted as stage manager by telling me details that needed care during the service. Like, “Ask Rusty to announce that folks can put their signs on the floor so that others can better see what’s going on.”
And then Elizabeth was with me experiencing the interactive service . . . . Reading and participating along with the other “stars” in our section. Afterwards it was fun to go over the evening’s highlights. (#5 will explain more of what this is all about.)
Two. Traditional Christmas Eve Dinner. Elizabeth and I went out to a Chinese food dinner with a couple after the Christmas Eve Service. We’ve been doing this for years. I love tradition. Elizabeth is not so keen on it but holds this one tradition very dear. Spending time with this couple is meaningful, fun, and loving.
Three. Family Time on Christmas. Elizabeth and I went to my sista’s at 6:45 a.m. Stockings, presents, food, chatting, others playing games while I napped) all filled our time. Too soon it was 1pm when Elizabeth and I headed to my apt and packed to leave for a meal and festivities with Tim (son), Daniella (daughter-in-love) and her people (sister, brother-in-law, and niece) – who are now my people too. More food, pressies, and a game of Pigs – which I did not sleep through.
Four. Books and time to read them. I am on vacation until Monday. And since my daughter does not have internet, I am spending time reading – physical books. This is opposed to internet hopping. So far I’ve read three books:
- Help, Thanks, Wow by Anne Lamott: a just because pressie. Go here for my impressions & some of my fave quotes from this book.
- Plastic Polly by Jenny Lundquist – a win from a drawing by the author.
- Love at the Speed of Email: a memoir by Lisa McKay – a Christmas present.
I recommend all three.
Five. Christmas Eve Service. A while back, our senior pastor asked me to be in charge of the Christmas Eve Service. Since I am the children’s pastor my thoughts turned to making this service meaningful for the children. Some years ago I read on the internet about a church that made their service interactive. Of course, I couldn’t find any reference to this even after much searching.
But God dropped the bits and pieces of the service into my view. This video, An Unexpected Christmas, opened our church-wide narrative, interactive time. The script was mainly from the Jesus Storybook Bible. The closing song was a video by Go Fish, It’s About the Cross.
I divided the story into portions to be read by 6 groups. Each group’s dialogue flashed on the screen as the story progressed and they stood to read their part. Each group had props to help them get into their role, to remember the evening, and a couple of props were edible so some had a snack. The groups and props are as follows: narrator (hmmph, I just realized he didn’t get a prop), stars (glow stick) and one giant tinsel star was framed by glow sticks, angels (little angels on a string), shepherds (staff in the shape and taste of candy canes), animals (baggie of animal crackers), and wisemen (tiny present).
We placed signs throughout the sanctuary indicating which role the folks were to read.
The worship team started the evening with I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day and led us in traditional Christmas songs throughout the narrative. I concluded by sharing how we can respond like the different groups. At first I was a little panicky because I couldn’t see my notes (because of the lights). So I told God, “Help.” He did help me with the words and I don’t have a sense that I embarrassed myself even though I cannot really remember what I said. Then Pastor Mike did a great job wrapping everything up.
As soon as I sat down, I felt an immediate sense of relief. And THEN I enjoyed the previous 50 minutes or so. It turned out like I envisioned. It was a great group effort and a meaningful time for all.
Here is last week’s FFF. I got so caught up with stuff that I was waaaaay late in posting.
Your Turn . . . Share your Christmas favourite blessings in the comments. Or write a Friday’s Fave Five Post on your blog and link up at Susanne’s Living to Tell the Story.