Do you hear what I hear?
How can it be the week of Christmas already?
Hello friends, you doin' okay?
Are you on the continual hunt for tape and scissors like I am, telling yourself that the extra 20 cents for transparent tape instead of the milky white tape really is worth splurging on?
I've given myself a "pass" when it comes to cookies and candy and tell myself that if I didn't enjoy a bit of the tastes of the season then goodness what on earth would we have to make a New Year's resolution about anyways?
With my whole life in perfect order there's nary another resolution to be dreamt up.
Oh how that felt so good to type, and even better to laugh at!
This year I trumped the idea of sugar cookies and opted for Snicker doodles because I'm rogue this year.
I wrapped the kids gifts with color coded wrapping paper because my OCD was feeling a bit left out lately.
Something you want is red and white striped, something you need is green with red trees, something to wear is an old fashioned print and something to read is green and white striped.
I do realize that in 20 minutes time this amazing feat of organization will make absolutely no difference in the whole cosmic design that is Christmas morning, but I will at least know that I didn't forget someone's gift and tear apart my own closet to find it.
Not that that has EVER happened mind you.
With mostly older kids now I have for some weird reason lost all ability to even fathom age appropriate gifts for little ones.
It's like the toddler/younger stage of childrearing has decided to hide in a box in my brain entitled "amnesia."
By the time grandkids come along I will be the grandma buying play dough for infants.
My very first Christmas gift this year from a friend was a large stack of those Kleenex pocket tissue packs.
How well she knows me.
She sits behind me in church and though I would like to think this was a sweet thoughtful gift to encourage me, but it could be a futile attempt to keep the Pastor's wife from wiping her runny nose and bleeding mascara on her sleeve each service.
Goodness I have the tears for the world.
My melancholy streak is gradually overtaking any sanguine forty-something Deena tries to hang onto.
A dear Pastor's wife recommended a very old biography to me and in all sincerity I asked if it was "sad." She told me that the missionary who penned it DID DIE, and I immediately thought, "Yeah, I can't handle that."
Recently I was asked to take part in a choir for Christmastime here at our church and we travelled to a lovely church plant.
We sat in the basement of the building they're renting- a Masonic temple, and part of me wanted to sit, crossed ankled, like a professional-looking singer person and a much larger part wanted to search for, Oh I don't know, something that would usher-in National Treasure 3.
We had a partial instrumental concert, and part choral, so we just sat waiting our turn while enjoying suites from the Nutcracker, and some other dead composers that were really good.
I know, my classical music intelligence is often coveted.
What I did NOT expect was just how much a dear little baby in the back would enjoy the concert.
He was at that stage where "blowing raspberries" is fascinating, and though it's completely adorable and normal in other settings, in THIS setting it seemed like some grumpy old man in the back somewhere was sticking his tongue out at each piece that was played.
Our fearless leader headed to the microphone to explain the next musical piece and this little guy began to spit all over the row in front of him.
Once I figured out where the noise was coming from I wanted to get something to distract him but you know me and my inability to purchase age appropriate toys for babies.. so that was out of the question.
Piece after beautiful piece, this baby blew.
And just about the Pastoral Symphony in Handel's Messiah, another something I DID expect happened.
My lazy eye caught a glimpse of my oldest now just as ticked as I was and that was it.
It was like in seeing him my mind gave up all ability to stifle my laughter.
It moved though the first row and then our row and I knew that if I made eye contact with either my oldest daughter on my right or my second son on my left it was a done deal, and only some Masonic secret help would change the course of what would implode there in the basement in front of visitors, God and everybody.
Now mind you, my husband was sitting just a few rows away as a spectator with his bible open to Isaiah no doubt having some wonderful devotional time over prophecy while his wife was wondering how long she could keep the giggles under wraps before something ELSE happens which would have been ten thousand times worse than outright laughter.
And this is just about as good a picture of the last 22 years of our marriage as any.
My husband cozy in the prophets and his wife seconds away from something inappropriate.
I squirmed, I scratched my foot, I thought about snacks in the back.
I wondered why on earth things like this just creep up on me and camp out until I finally give in.
This situation now after sitting just a few afternoon's earlier at a wonderful Pastor's fellowship where the man behind me belched after lunch so loudly I shook with laughter until the coffee break when a friend told me they enjoyed watching me struggle to hold it together.
I'm guessing there are worse things than unnatural giggling, so I'm gonna just be thankful for what I have.
This little baby just kept making this sacred service a very COVID friendly one for a full hour until his parent finally realized that this might be why the lady in the second row was crippled in hysterics.
Thank you for finally realizing that, guy in the back!
Then another crazy thing happened!
My husband finishing his devotional time decided to VIDEO the choir and I tell you the truth, it was like being in ballet again and seeing my parents out in the crowd.
I got this cheshire cat creepy smile on my face until I was plum embarrassed.
This was not your usual smile.
It was a CREEPY-I-cannot-help-it-for-goodness-sake-what-is-WRONG-with-me smile.
Why on earth was he videoing us?!
So there I was smiling with open mouth while singing about Jesus being born in some hay.
Yeah, it was as weirdo as it sounds.
I looked like someone who had just murdered a family pet and buried it in the back yard.
It was awful.
I "chock this up" to some kind of "missed my Sunday afternoon nap," delirium.
I've never been good with shocking moments, being put on the spot, or weird noises.
And since these rarely happen in ministry I'd say I'm safe.
In the van on the ride home I scarfed a stray cookie waiting for my Pastor husband to get to the bottom of my partial mental fritz.
I made a plea for these funniest videos to never see the light of social media and promised to try harder not to crack at infant spit.
These are conversations no one warns you about, friends.
So count on yours truly to help a friend out.
Sharing is caring.
Merry Merry Christmas friends.