Christmas Kickoff

I don’t think blogs about my day-to-day life are very interesting.

I think this comes from my mission where, after a long day’s work, I returned home to an empty apartment where there was no one to tell about my day.  The only other person there was my companion, and talking to him about it seemed futile because, well, he lived the whole day right alongside me.

Most of my blogs are themes-seeking-events where this blog is going to be more events-seeking-a-theme.

It has been unusually cold here in Dallas the last week or so.  We have started having regular freezes, and the cold, biting wind has been blowing regularly and fiercely.  In a way, this is good news.  It means winter is here.  It means we can bundle up, light a fire, drink hot cocoa, and dream (literally) of a white Christmas.  (Christmas in Brazil was always a little off, because Christmas fell in the hottest part of summer, rather the coldest parts of winter…)  The bad part of this is that the nagging sore-throat-when-you-wake-up is starting to really bug me.  It’s going on 2 weeks now…

So here’s a review of what we’ve been up to, starting last friday…

Friday night A2 played in two softball games, at 9pm and 10pm.  You might be asking, “Why are we playing a community/recreational softball game in December?  And why are we doing so in 28 degree weather?”

Good questions.

I was there like a super fan, bundled up in three layers plus a blanket, but my feet still froze (thank you mom for that genetic malady)

The outsiders ended up winning the survival-of-the-fittest extreme recreational softball games, clinching the title of “craziest team who won the championship and sacrificed their health doing so.”  The fans and umpires got a free frostbite treatment.

Saturday, on paper, was supposed to be an easy day.  I had two assignments: put up the outside decorations and go sing with Evening Song (our community choir) downtown.

I started putting up lights at 10am.  It took me an hour or two just to get all the right ladders together, with an hour intermission of A2 getting up onto the roof (thinking it was no big deal) and then getting down when she realized what a big deal it actually was.  (Our roof is quite steep!)  By the time I went to get Mitch’s extension ladder to reach the peaks on the house, it was past time to be downtown for our singing engagement.

We ran downtown to the West Village Shopping Center, a mixed residential/boutique shopping complex, where we were being paid to sing outdoors to add to the Christmas ambiance.  It was a ghost town.  It was so cold and windy outside, the only foot traffic we had in the 2 hours we sang were people entering and leaving the nearest bar.

I kept busy by asking myself, “What are these people doing?  I guess it is Saturday, but 2pm is a little early to start drinking.”  And also considering the irony of entering a bar and leaving a bar to the sounds of a very formal choir singing about Jesus and God and Shepherds.  There were some characters who were coming and going in their full hooka outfits, if you know what I mean.  Men and women.  You knew what they were about, but didn’t realize they started so early on a Saturday… oh well.

Returning home at 6pm, I explained to my wife that I was going to finish the lights, frostbite or no.  So in the dark, I concluded hanging the lights on the house and stringing them around the yard and bushes.  Then when I went to return the ladder – click click click.  I had left a light on in the truck and the battery was shot.  Argh!  By this time A2 was done and I was done, so we just left the truck hanging halfway into the street with six feet of extension ladder hanging off the back.  Who cares…

Sunday was my regular Sunday schedule: 9am – 4pm regular church meetings… but then the dreaded TITHING SETTLEMENT ensued.  Yes, tithing settlement is the Bishop’s chance to meet with each family at the end of each year, and as Bishop’s secretary that makes my job playing master of ceremonies to the three ring circus.  Everyone wants to be seen first.  Everyone wants to go early.  Everyone needs to cancel and reschedule.  Everyone has a problem, a sniffle, an exception, a special case, a concern, a question, a problem.  My job is to take them all in stride without freaking out and telling anyone where to stick it, which I am learning to do more and more.

I had to leave an hour before tithing settlement ended to make it to another Evening Song concert.  This time, at least, the concert was indoors — and in a church; a very appropriate place to sing about God and Jesus.  It actually turned out all right, though I think singing in the freezing cold on Saturday had actually made us forget how to sing certain passages well.  Kind of like how marriage makes you dumber… cold makes you musically dumber.

After the concert and punch-and-cookies reception (which A2 was partly in charge of), we came home, laid in bed, and asked each other: “Is tomorrow Saturday yet?”

I hereby propose that we add a month to the end of the year, after December, just to alleviate the fact that everyone thinks that they have to cram in their end-of-year activity into December.  See, with an additional month, perhaps people could spread out the love a bit.  Hmm… perhaps there is flaws in this logic, but I’m sticking with it for now.

2 thoughts on “Christmas Kickoff”

  1. Hey WE, I enjoyed your blog….busy time of the year for you…yup….you will learn as you grow older that you can’t be involved in everything. Next year put your lights up in November and turn them on in December as I did. As far as singing goes, just do your singing in the shower where it is warm…..yup…as to tithing settlement, have the folks sign us for an appointment, then call them 20 minutes before their appointment. And besides, the Ward Clerk and counselor in the Bishopric are the ones who are to do all the work at the Ward House, what do ya think Vern?
    But alas, this to shall pass. Marriage is also supposed to make you smarter….get with the program…..yup.

  2. I agree about the extra month. How nice would that be?

    We just moved, we’re starting a business, Brad is still commuting to his old job, there’s holiday everything to do, we have two children…I haven’t known what day of the week it is for the past while. It must be December.


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