Christmases Past & Winter Weather

So the winter weather just won't give up...the Midwest (or at least Iowa anyway) is expecting another blast of snow, sleet and ice over the next few days. I hate that this will just wreak havoc on everyone's holiday travel plans. I have a feeling that our Christmas program at church is probably in jeopardy as well.

I remember one Christmas Eve program that was postponed to New Year's Eve when I was a child. I think that I was 7 or 8. It was also the Christmas that I got the Barbie Dream Home from my parents. So, I was not so disappointed that our program was not going on as planned because I had just received one of my favorite gifts of all time!

I remember those programs vividly. You see, my family attended an old country church that was absolutely beautiful - especially on Christmas Eve. My brother and I also attended the school that was affiliated with the church. It was a two-room school, built in 1954. My dad and his three sisters and brother also attended the school. It had a little gymnasium, a small kitchen, and a "confirmation" room where the older kids learned the cathechism. The classrooms were divided up kindergarten-4th grade and 5th-8th grade. We never probably had more than 50 kids in k-8 at one time. It was a very different experience...but one I will never forget!

This is also the church that my husband and I got married in. It was and still is amazing. It has all of the original woodwork, tin ceilings, and a gi-normous (teen slang I pick up from teaching high school kids) wrap around balcony and huge old organ. The Christmas Eve program was a HUGE event. We practiced EVERY Sunday in December and we practiced at school, too. Every kid had an individual speaking part and we sang all of the traditional Christmas hymns. And, of course, at the end you received your paper bag full of peanuts, fruit, and candy! The excitement in that church every Christmas Eve was unbelievable....The picture below is NOT that church but it looks something like it

My family still attended that church every Christmas Eve up until two years ago. We decided that we did not want to leave my Grandfather alone on Christmas Eve. He was in his 90s and my mom would pick him up from assisted living around 4 in the afternoon and we just did not feel comfortable leaving him at the house while we went to church 15 miles away. Now, we have a 6-year old that will be in our Christmas program where we attend now. He doesn't have an individual part, rather a group part. And, he attends public school, therefore he is not practicing the songs at school. So, it is a lot different for him than it was for me. 

I think that Christmas is different all around, compared to what it was 25 years ago. I know that I get very caught up in the commercialism and the chaos. I do it every year. I think it gets worse every year. I think that I have do more and more...more baking, decorating, wrapping, shopping...In a weird way, maybe it will be good if we are snowed in...maybe we will get to spend some serious quality time together and remember what Christmas is all about!

Merry Christmas and...