Christmas Eve. I woke at about 3:30 AM, because I wanted to find Internet broadcasts of Christmas Eve church services. I wanted to make sure that I could see them, so I could tell others that I had access to them over the Internet.
Later on in the day, Misty and I watched, on demand, the Christmas Eve Mass from St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. It was enchanting, and nostalgic. Such an old building, that has been performing these services for centuries. It was magnificent. The architecture. The works of art. The grandeur. It was the best of Christmas Eve services that I could even imagine.
I could have watched the services in Bethlehem, but they were not archived, so I missed them.
While we watched the services in Vatican City, we put together a puzzle of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. We completed it in record time, and we enjoyed a Fiesta Dip, of cheese, salsa, beans, chips, sour cream, and olives. It was delicious; and we also enjoyed Martinelli’s Grape & Apple drink.
I did go out shopping a couple of times. I went shopping for food, and I happened to meet some friends, which was more than a coincidence. On Saturday, I had tried to visit them but they were not home; so it was nice for me to finally wish them a Merry Christmas after all. Later on, I went to buy a light bulb at CVS Pharmacy, and I ran into another friend, whom I had briefly visited a couple of times. It was a joyful meeting, and I was glad to wish him a Merry Christmas too.
Later on, Misty and I watched ‘Jingle All The Way’, and ‘The Christmas Carol’ with Patrick Stewart. We wanted to see all the Christmas movies that we wanted in, because this was the last night to see them before Christmas was over. We feel that Christmas is over after Christmas Eve. It just doesn’t feel appropriate to wish someone a Merry Christmas after Christmas Eve.
After that, I found the Midnight Mass at the Washington National Cathedral. I watched most of it, but it was not quite fulfilling. I found it to be watered-down. The scriptures and songs were interpreted differently than to which I am accustomed. The recitation of the Nicene Creed really turned me off, because it does not acknowledge the separateness of God the Father, His Son, and the Holy Ghost. I have received a witness that this doctrine is true, and reciting a simplified creed is really, kind of, not as scholarly as I require in a sermon. Therefore, about three fourths through the program, I turned it off.
This Christmas season has been wonderful. It has been so spiritual: with celebrating all eight days of Hanukkah for the first time, ever, in my family; with watching Christmas Eve church specials over the Internet; and with my ability to get away from the hustle and bustle of the commercialism of the season, by saying ‘No’ to the less important activities, and buying gifts as an expression of thanks, and not out of obligation; and most importantly with reading the scriptures as a family, and more of our 24 days of Christmas book, which we received in our first ward after we were married. It has really been a very special season, that I hope to always remember, and upon which I hope to build, during future Christmas seasons.