Sunday, December 10, 2006
It has been quite busy for us the past couple of days. I actually didn’t even turn on my computer all day yesterday!! I was tempted, but I was just too weary last night when we got home from church. So I made a cup of tea and continued my Fall Reading. The time is getting short, and I still have one and a half books (big books) to read.
Friday was the famous annual Bingo Christmas Party. Some of my very best friends get together every Christmas at my friend Mary’s house. We were all in small group Bible Study together years ago. Mary invited us to her house for a Christmas Party so that we wouldn’t lose touch over the holiday break. We enjoyed it so much we continued it every year. It is always at Mary’s (her request), and we always have the same menu. She makes the best pasta chicken salad we’ve ever had. She also serves fresh fruit, rolls and scrumptious deserts. She also makes a special punch. After we eat, we play Bingo. I don’t know where Mary first played this, but she is also the one who started this tradition.
Every year, after Christmas, when the stores have their big sales, she and her two daughters go shopping. They buy some of the neatest things at bargain prices. She then stores them away until our party. When we arrive at her house, all the gifts are on display – so we all get to have a peek at them before we begin the Big Game. We choose (very carefully – because this is very serious business) our bingo card, take a pile of red and green M&Ms (we use them as markers – but we tend to nibble on them as well while we’re playing) and the game begins. Mary calls out the letters and numbers – and the first one to get “bingo” gets to choose one of the prizes. This year some of the prizes were a Nativity Set, Christmas Pillows, a tea pot, candle holders, bowls, Christmas place mats, and a musical porcelain angel. We play until everyone wins a game.
In previous years I have not been too skillful – but this year I won first!!! Yippee!!! The difficult part is deciding on which prize you want to take. We all tend to worry that we will pick something someone else had their heart set on. It’s such fun. I picked the porcelain angel. She is so pretty and plays “Joy to the World”. She is now sitting gracefully on my piano.
Once everyone has won a prize we go into the living room, and Mary opens the gifts we have brought her. Then over one last cup of tea we just talk. For some of us, it is the only time we have a chance to see each other for a real visit all year. We get caught up on all the good things and all the difficult things. We sometimes pray together. It is just a very special time. These women are like sisters to me. God is so very good. He places people in our lives that flesh out His tender heart toward us. I am so very blessed.
Saturday and today our church had its Christmas Program. It was wonderful. My husband and I sing in the choir. This is our second year, and it just gets better and better. I truly think we receive more of a blessing than the people who come to watch.
We have three services, Saturday evening and two on Sunday morning. We decided to sing all three. The music was so beautiful. There was the adult choir, the children’s choir, the orchestra and a dance team (which in my dreams I’m a part of – they are so elegant and lovely). The miraculous story of Christmas set to music filled the church. God truly inhabits the praises of His people, and we felt that the whole time.
And so I am home for good now (well for today anyway) and anxious to get back in touch with everyone. I will try to read everything I’ve missed. You are a very special part of my life.