Posted by: JulieAloha | December 26, 2011

Christmas Day, 2011

Woke up around 7:30, so nice to sleep in! (when you habitually rise at 5am, 7:30 is a luxury!) Mom was just getting ready to walk her dog, Maggie – Dad was still asleep. Stockings waited patiently for us to rouse ourselves enough to apply the appropriate effort around the breakfast table. We all knew Christmas would be light this year, we had agreed in advance that we would not be exchanging gifts – an agreement we ALL broke, of course! Stockings first, fun little items of sweets, gum and mints; hard to find items as well as common personal favorites; lottery scratch tickets for all – not a great deal of winning, but fun to complete and anticipate hope of success; massage certificates for Mom and I; sugar-free sweets for Dad and I, the diabetics; strangely, no toothbrushes this year! Even one surprise – a gift card stuck well into the toe of my stocking…a card which had lain quiet for over a year, undiscovered last Christmas! Bonus! The plan had been to wait to open presents until after Church, but we relented and dove into the wrap and ribbon scene. Brokaw’s new book and a new shirt for Dad, a fuzzy steering wheel cover for Mom’s new car, new clothes for me in red and white and blue – not big ticket items, but so much appreciated for the thought as well as the need. I sang with my iPhone to warm up my voice, then drove ahead of the family to Church – I needed to arrive early for some last minute rehearsal time before the service. We had to make another copy of the music and I wrote in the italian – I’d memorized the song, but wanted a backup in case memory failed at a crucial moment. The service was lovely, Pastor’s sermon focused on the Light shining in the darkness and he told a personal story about being a soldier in Vietnam on Christmas and searching the dark skies desperately for some glimmer of light, praying for just one star in the night, for just one sign of hope – he waited for hours peering into the blank, black sky until a single star broke through the gloom and it looked like a lighthouse beacon to him, filling his heart with renewed hope and peace. Hard act to follow. We read the Creed and prepared for Communion and I made my way up front to sing. Michael, our pianist met me at the music stand and told me he couldn’t find two pages of the music, he needed my sheet music to play. He turned to the congregation, smiling, and announced, “we’re going to be using a little technology this morning; some of the music has gone missing, so I’m going to use Julie’s music and she’s going to use her iPhone for the lyrics! It will just take a moment, but it will be worth the wait.” We all shared a chuckle, then I set my phone on the stand, he began playing and I began singing – it all works out, doesn’t it? The service progressed smoothly and with great good humor.

Merry Christmas!


  1. Love this. Thank goodness it was a gift card and not an egg, let’s say. That could make for a smelly Christmas. Sounds like a beautiful sermon. It gave me goosebumps reading your accounting of his story; to be there, I probably would have been awestruck. Glad they called you back to come sing there again. Sounds like you had a lovely Christmas.


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