Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Christmas Stories


(Video Link)
Christmas Eve this year was a roller-coaster of a kaleidoscope—if such a metaphor can fit comfortably inside the human brain.

For my son and I, it was a chance to do something we don’t get to do often: perform in the same band for a weekend of Christmas concerts, to a combined audience of 14,000 people.

The theme of the night was “stories”, and whether sung or spoken/acted, it was a moving evening of shared life-stories impacted by Jesus’ story. It was an honour and also humbling to be part of such a powerful presentation.

An hour or so later, the kaleidoscope rotated. Our (now adult) children and their spouses gathered in our home. We were joined by friends who are navigating their first Christmas after the painful death of a wife and mother. It was an honour to have them in our home.

And then, another rotation of the kaleidoscope.

A long-held tradition in our house is Christmas Stockings—usually crammed full of junk food, inside jokes, and wacky presents. It’s our most light-hearted and quirky piece to family celebrations at Christmas.

“This is the last year,” my youngest daughter reflected. She looks a little misty. She’s engaged to be married next spring, and like her older (married) siblings, the stocking tradition will then shift from Wendy & I to her spouse.

Next Christmas, for the first time since 1989, the stockings hung from our mantle will be merely decorative.

Final revolution of the kaleidoscope:

Christmas Day, and our three children, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, and a fiancé fill our house for a fun and memorable day together.

It’s quite a mix in just one 24-hour period: celebratory concerts (seven!), time with grieving friends, a houseful of family—feasting and playing silly games together—and a nostalgic final Christmas stocking for my youngest daughter.

A variety of stories, running a gamut of associated memories and emotions. And, of course, one of our oldest family traditions: The Muppet Christmas Carol, everyone singing boisterously along with the songs.

And if I may be so bold—we sound pretty good.

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