Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve In Our Small Village

You see, we never decorated our home for Christmas until the afternoon of Christmas Eve. Not a thing; you’d think we were card-carrying members of the ACLU just returning from our annual “Find-A-Creche” on any square inch of public property.

No, it wasn’t that at all. We just felt, as Catholics, that the Christmas season began on Christmas Eve and lasted until the Epiphany. So the tree came in the house early that afternoon, the electric candles showed up in the front windows, tree lights were strung and all the implements of Christmas fell into place.

There to stay until the Wise Men came with their gifts.

Across the street, Santa’s sleigh and eight (8) tiny reindeer had been on the front lawn for at least a week or two. Lighted at night. Our next-door neighbor would be lit, as well, on Christmas morning; he, more than the tree.

We went caroling on Christmas Eve, I with my trumpet, Mom and a family friend on vocals. We’d pick up a few neighbors on the way. Playing a brass instrument in the cold is not the easiest way to make music, but it generally worked.

When we were finished, I would walk a block down to the beach and, with the evening breeze behind me, I’d do two or three Christmas carols on the trumpet, very loudly. Our village was small and I’m sure it could be heard by many.


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