Christmas Eve

24 December, 2008

So tomorrow is Christmas-but tonight, Christmas Eve…and that means the church service. To many people it isn’t a big deal. At my church, a significant portion of the population shows up in jeans and a tee-shirt. I mean, as long as you are covering what needs to be covered and then some, I am okay. But there’s a reason, to me, why they call it Sunday Best-meaning you wear better clothes than you normally would wear to church. It’s not like black-tie…maybe a nice pair of pants and a polo shirt, or a nice top and a skirt. And this is a normal Sunday. For Christmas Eve and Easter, it’s expected that you will dress up a bit more. Maybe if you normally wear jeans and a tee to church, try going a bit nicer.

That puts me in a real quandry, because I always dress up for church-and so I have to always pick something interesting to wear. It has to make a statement, it has to be something that most of the people haven’t seen before on me, and it has to be somewhat modest-no shorter than 3″ above the knee, not too tight, no more than 6″ between my collarbone and the neckline, and no thin straps. I have two great dresses that have not been seen by the people at the church yet. Both are floral silk dresses from Express-one green, one pink. The green is one-shouldered, with a thin belt, while the pink is strapless with a wide belt. If I wanted to wear either of those dresses, I would need to come up with a creative coverup for the shoulders, and all I have are things that would not work with either of the dresses. If I can’t figure something out with those, I can wear one of my houndstooth skirts, with a top and then my lace leggings, and some heels. One of my other objectives with this is to try and show off the fact that I am now under the 130-pound mark for the first time in my adult life.When it comes to hair, I am essentially clueless. My choices are either a chignon, partially back with a clip, or a headband. What can I say, my hair is uninspiring.

Then when it comes to makeup, I can go a bit brighter on the lip than normal, because the lighting is dimmer. I think it’s about time that I broke Hollywood Nights out of hiding, or maybe Electro-I rarely ever get to do my bright lips anymore, and I have frequent withdrawals.

Either way, it’s always tough to figure out what I will do because I am such a perfectionist and people always wonder what I will be wearing. That is a good thing, but it puts pressure on me to get more fun things that I can actually wear to church. I am not exactly going to be wearing one of my uber-sequinned pieces, because when you are sitting for a half hour during the sermon on a hard pew, it isn’t going to be the most comfortable. Not only that, but you are going to maybe ruin a sequin or two. In addition, many of the things are too short, or have slits that go up a little too far.

Christmas Eve though…it used to have so many more traditions. Some years, we would go down and visit my mum’s relatives for lunch. Then we would come back up to the area, and then I would be involved in the 5 PM service because there was either something with the kids choir, or a pageant, and I was definitely a part. Then after that, we would go home, we would have dinner, and then we always got to open up one present on Christmas Eve-usually a smaller one, to help tide us over. My brother and I got so snoopy with the gifts and everything that we did not put anything under the tree until Christmas Morning. And when we got the cats, they saw wrapped things and immediately would go to town on them. We haven’t had a Christmas tree in three years, and I doubt we will ever again until we get shit organized around the house so that the cats are NOT using it as a jungle gym. Anyways, after all of that, we would traditionally (well me; my dad was uninterested, my brother too young, and my mum was usually the assistant presider) attend the 11 PM candlelight service. The way that it works is that the 5 PM service is the family service-meaning that all the readings and songs are going to be geared towards the families. Then the 8 and 11 services are candlelight, meaning traditional. All carols from the Green Book (the Lutheran Book of Worship…a book in the pews that had all the hymns and then some of the liturgy for weddings and confirmation and baptism and such…ever needed to learn the Nicene Creed? It’s in there.), the multiple readings, and then after communion the lights would be turned down, everyone would get a candle (they get one as they walk in), and then the ushers would light the candles while “Silent Night” was sung. Definitely something I will always remember. Now the church does four services for Christmas Eve-the 4:30 family service, with the kids choirs and such. The 8 PM is contemporary, with the praise band-so a more upbeat. Then we have the traditional.

Anyways, it was always fun when the clock struck midnight, because it actually WAS Christmas. We then would go home-as church was right across the street from our old house-and then I would sleep til, if I was lucky, 5 in the morning. All the presents would be out then, Ian and I would open our stockings, and then have to WAIT the long hours til Mom and Dad get up. Then we would open all our presents within a half-hour period of time, and then do nothing for several hours, except maybe play with our presents or watch a movie, if there was a good one on. Then we would go over to my dad’s relatives for dinner, more presents, and so forth. I always hated that…it just never felt like home, no matter how often we were over there…and it was VERY often, at least once a month. The fact that I have always been the world’s pickiest eater, coupled with the fact that I became a vegetarian at 13, compounded matters.

But yeah. I am hoping that all goes well…and that I do not totally look stupid.

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