What screams Christmas louder than candy cane cake, barn birth, carols and Santa suit?
This Christmas Eve, I have prepared my signature 2010 ice cream cake. This creation is a chocolate-fudge cake with candy cane ice cream and my own home-made topper. We are spending Christmas Eve with dear friends after we attend a church service held in a barn. And yes, it smells kind of like a barn (as barns usually do). This place sets the scene for that first Christmas when Mary squeezed the King of Kings out the shoot amongst piles of hay, manure and farm animals. It was not until I was six months pregnant with my first son (in December) that the gravity of Mary’s birth experience hit me. Not an epidural, nurse, episiotomy or sitz bath to be found. And then, imagine the stress of a bunch of dirty shepherds stopping by soon afterward! All this while she was physically exhausted and trying to get Baby Jesus to latch-on while goats, sheep, cows and a little drummer boy stared on. Remember that she had to walk/donkey ride with Joseph 90 miles to Bethlehem before this miraculous birth even took place? She is the perfect example for the saying, “Don’t ask the Lord to guide your footsteps if you are not willing to move your feet!”
Then after our Christmas Eve? Tomorrow we will play our annual Christmas Tree Game and face the challenge of a homespun Christmas concert with my family. My son and I have practiced piano while my husband and older son work it out on their guitars. My mother and brother-in-law played trombones in their high school marching bands (decades ago) and my crazy mother has this harebrain idea that we are going to gather on Christmas and bust out Carols, Boston Pops style. I tell you, it aint’ gonna happen! However, it will make for an awfully fun memory (stress the awful). Meanwhile, I am packing my ear plugs and praying for a Silent Night.
On another note (non-musical) I dread the New Year and having to end rationalizing that sugar cookies, cake and ornamentinis constitute a balanced meal. I don’t want to think about that now, but will share that my sons have enjoyed a hand-me down Santa suit. Who wouldn’t? I'm tempted to put on that jolly get-up and swing by Target or Starbucks. Or, dare I wear it to the Christmas Eve Barn service? Ho-Ho-HOLY NIGHT!
Riding a unicycle is like life. To be successful and enjoy the ride, they both require tremendous balance and focus. I sit up tall, shoulders back and imagine I am holding one of my young boys under each arm. My best-friend-techie-husband’s hand on my seat (hubba, hubba) to guide me, and my two wiener dogs running alongside, looking like double Dumbos. As I train to ride Blanche, my unicycle, in a half-marathon, I think how good God is as the breeze blows my brown hair, a big smile on my face. Come along for a thrilling one-wheel ride while I do my best to maintain balance... but keep an open mind, there is always something new to learn!