The Seven Days of Christmas

Lynn Horton is a freelance writer and editor who in another lifetime taught English and Creative Writing at McIntosh High School and later worked in the Starr’s Mill High School Media Center.

I adore Thanksgiving. Lots of time to enjoy Fall decorations, plan guest lists, sample menus. With the exception of “Feast Day” at your children’s school cafeteria, there is little leading up to Turkey Day in the way of “Events.” And that is a good thing.
Now Christmas, which comes barreling in on the heels of Thanksgiving like an avalanche, well, that is another thing entirely. Remember the last time you said, “There are just not enough days in the week!” Now that we’re retired, the kids are married, and the grandkids are all driving age, what could possibly be the big deal here? I mean we are “not as young as we used to be,” so, why is our calendar fuller than ever? And why does everyone try to squeeze the “12 Days of Christmas” into the few weekend days between Thanksgiving and December 23rd. Have you counted? The weekend after the Black Friday foolishness is the first in December. There are only seven (7), count them, 4 Saturdays and 3 Sundays in which to enjoy the wonderful smorgasbord of Holiday activities spread before us. I can tell you right now, that ain’t near enough!
Saturday December 2nd the youth at our church are preparing a spaghetti dinner in order to raise money for a trip to *Expeditions in Antiquity (a laudable effort). This is the same evening as the Senoia Parade and tree lighting, as well as a highly anticipated musical performance by a young friend at Crossroads Campus. Since Bill and I will be docents at the Senoia Area Historical Museum that very afternoon, December 2nd, from 1 until 4, we can just scoot right downtown and catch the parade at 5, the tree lighting at near dark, then head over to the Sharpsburg Baptist Church for supper at 7p.m. I have not yet figured out how to manage hearing Andrea sing unless she can make it happen at about 6:45 and we can dash in before the SBC Youth Dinner begins.
We would love to support them all by being there, and of course, we would like to enrich our lives as well, but, no longer Spring Chickens, we may need someone to fix our plates, wipe our chins and wake us when it is time to go home.
The Southern Chorale is performing a matinee on Sunday December 3rd at Harps Crossing Baptist Church. I will walk over hot coals to hear them anytime, but at this time of the year Bill and I agree that it does the soul good to hear the magnificent voices of so many of our local friends share Carols and seasonal music more sophisticated than anything I could even hum! Thrilling. We’ll be there.
Sunday the December 10th is the Annual Senoia Tour of Homes. And it is also the evening of our church Christmas dinner and Cantata. No!!! It can’t be! This is two years in a row. Maybe three. Who can remember? Arrrgggg. I have already purchased four of the much-sought-after (and scarce as hen’s teeth) tickets** just this past Wednesday. Now what do we do? I have invited my sister who looks forward to coming from Auburn each year and wandering through the lovely dressed-up homes, the churches, and of course the Historical Museum. We then spend the night snuggled up with hot chocolate in front of a fire and revisit other tours, other years. We share family stories and watch Hallmark movies. Sigh. You choose. I don’t want to.
December 16th: I am looking forward to hosting the Writer’s Group (second only) Annual Christmas Party at our home. Significant others are invited for the first time; fresh fodder for us writer-types. There will be, Surprise!  Karaoke! And Surprise! A White Elephant Gift exchange.
While everyone threatened to bring Swedish Meatballs, I don’t think any of us actually know what they are. Thankfully, Fred is organizing food and drinks. I am encouraging guests to dress up in fancy duds, for as most of you know, I love to Dress Up. Charles will, of course, wear Bermuda shorts and flip flops.
I will have to get up early on Sunday the 17th in order to clear away party mess and get to church on time as I have signed up to read the scripture for that Advent Sunday. This is something I adore doing; ever since I read the entire Nativity Story in front of a PTA audience when I was in 5th grade, I am always very happy when called upon to share even a few lines from His Word. Well, looks like I may have a free afternoon or evening that day; time to take a long winter’s nap. Be rested and ready to start my big shopping spree on Monday the 18th of December.
That done, we will gather here in our home for the Traditional Christmas Eve dinner and gift exchange with my younger daughter and her beautiful family.  I hope it Snows and that there are a bunch of Carolers who come to the door like in the movies. What a wonderful way to usher in the most wonderful day of the year, the birthday of our Lord. Breathe deeply. Relax. Pray. Love. Till then, Happy Thanksgiving!

*If you have yet to visit this amazing first century village which captures the common landmarks that Jesus would have found familiar during his short lifetime, waste no more time. GO!

** Hurry! Get Home Tour Tickets at Senoia Welcome Center while they last!

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