Christmas Eve

I don’t know if Wal-Mart has anything resembling a suggestion box (maybe they do online; I’m not famous for checking their Website), but one thing they need to have during the Christmas season is traffic lights in the store.  A crossing guard here or there (especially in the children’s section) would a great idea as well.

Shopping consumed most of our day yesterday.  Susie and I rode the Grove City bus all the way to the end of its line, and spent much of the next 2.5 hours shopping for Steph.  I’m thankful that we fortified ourselves at the Subway in Wal-Mart before we dived into the shopping part of the mission.  I think I would have felt less threatened at the bottom of a mosh pit.

But I lived to tell the tale.  I’m not tipping my hand to reveal what I got Steph; with my luck, today would be the day she’d decide to start reading my blog.  But naturally, the things I wanted to buy Steph were on opposite ends of the store.

Steph had left the house around 8:30 a.m., to go to her water aerobics class at her gym (I had enough phys. ed. for free in high school, so I never would pay to go to a gym!), and was going out for lunch with a friend afterwards, so Susie and I had more than enough time to get the job done.

I’m just back from the Christmas Eve service (which went from 3-3:45 p.m.) at West Park United Methodist, 1.5 blocks from our house.  We all went a little early, because Steph directed the youth choir, of which Susie is a part.  I came along to be the DJ.  Steph had a disk of accompaniment music, and so I was there to start and stop the CD player at the appropriate moments.  (The youth choir has about six or seven members, and their ages vary from kindergarten to junior high.)  They sang two songs, each about a minute long.

I titled my last entry in here with a line from Ezra Pound.  According to the calendar, the winter solstice is here, but except for the sunset around 5:30, you’d never believe it was wintertime.  The air and temperature have been fall-like the whole time.

Last Sunday, I went to the “living Christmas tree” at Grace Brethren Church.  My friend Pat got two tickets from a friend, and he invited me to come along.  This was a Christmas play with more bells and whistles than some plays I’ve seen at the Ohio Theatre.  Whoever created this performance was heavily influenced by Cecil B. deMille, since nothing was omitted.  The life of Jesus was acted in pantomime, and this was another way the show was like a deMille production.  In the ’20s, de Mille did a silent version of King of Kings (which I’ve not seen).  There was too much Mel Gibson in the crucifixion scenes.

They used a translation of the Bible I had never heard of before.  When they read the account of the Resurrection, I thought that they would say, “…and Jesus appeared among them and said, ‘Ta daaaa.'”

I was glad I went, but there was too much sensory overload during the show.  Live camels and donkeys were led down the aisles.  This was feasible, because Grace Brethren is a megachurch, along the lines of the Crystal Cathedral or something cooked up by Ohio’s own Rex Humbard.  I could never be happy in a church like that.  Sure, they pull out all of the stops during performances like this (and, I suspect, the services), but there are two JumboTrons on either side, and there are balconies and there was a stage, not an altar.  You’d get as much individual attention and love as you’d get in an ant farm.

I finished the last page of my journal this afternoon, while Susie was playing with her GameBoy and after we had dinner.  (On Sunday, we have the big meal at noon, instead of evening.)  I’ll be starting the next volume tomorrow.

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