Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Confession: we never got around to decorating for Christmas this year.

I felt slightly bad about not decorating all throughout December. We got a Christmas tree for free from a neighbor this year the last week before Christmas, and it went out onto our balcony and never made it inside. There was no nativity to set up. No stockings. No wreath. It was the season of almost-but-not-quite, the year of we'd-really-like-to-but-we-don't-have-time.

There were lots of reasons why it didn't happen this year, but the biggest reason (and the gladdest one, too) was because so much of our time and energy this Advent season was devoted to launching our new church. The Anglican Church of the Epiphany came into existence on December 2, 2012 this year after months of planning and a lot of hard work by a lot of people. We looooooooove our little church. We love singing in the tiny choir. We love getting to know all the people there. We love after-church potlucks. We love having a local church (finally!) just down the street. And we love having a place to serve. I was confirmed by the bishop on December 23. I have a Book of Common Prayer, and I'm not afraid to use it. This church is (in my reckoning) the best thing that happened this year.

Christmas was wonderful. We went to church in the morning, hung out with both sides of the family, and feasted on delicious food. I didn't really miss our decorations much at all. We'd carried Advent with us on our lips as we rehearsed the songs for choir all December long. I read Advent and Christmas poems to my students. We lit the candles in the Advent wreath at church each week. And when Christmas came, it came joyfully, with a pianist who played so exuberantly that I couldn't help but laugh out loud while singing "Joy to the World."

This Sunday was our patronal feast day. Epiphany marks the end of the Christmas season, and looking back on this year, this might be one of my favorite Christmases yet. Even if the only sign of it in our home was a humble vase of holly branches on the kitchen counter.


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