In the end, Christmas 2006 seemed to be destined to teach us to appreciate when our little Christmas season goes smoothly…something that I, apparently, have taken for granted for all too many years. It all started with a hectic schedule two weeks before the holiday, as Karen and Adam traveled hundreds of miles – yes, literally hundreds of miles – to various GGBC rehearsals and performances. That, in itself, did start this little snowball from, um, heck. It was the constant exposure to the Petri dish of germs that is called BART. The week before Christmas, both Adam and Karen came down with some sort of cold. Maybe it should be referred to as “The Cold that Stole Christmas.” While Adam recovered relatively rapidly, Karen descended into congestion, a sore throat and various aches and pains. We held on to the hope that she’d recover and only a few of us might head to Christmas Eve dinner. Unfortunately, Karen’s father, our gracious cook and host for Christmas Eve dinner, was admitted to the hospital, where the doctors wanted him to enjoy a turkey dinner and stay through the day after Christmas.
So, rolling with these curveballs (yes, mixing metaphors), Sean and I decided we could head to Christmas mass at 9:00 p.m. instead of trying to stay awake for midnight mass. All was good as mass started with “Joy to the World,” then the opening prayer by the pastor, who introduced his co-celebrant, who then said an opening prayer…in Vietnamese! Sean and I look at each other. But I was there, and by gum, wasn’t going to leave. Thankfully, about half of mass was in English. And it was entertaining as we were visited by “The Christmas Cat,” a feline named Gilbert by the St. Dominic’s School kids, who walked up a side isle, behind the altar, then in front of the alter to sniff at the manger scene.
I guess out travails can’t compare to that of Mary and Joseph. Merry Christmas to all!