Every year we have a community get-together to sing Christmas carols and watch others perform. This year we had a few kids play instruments, choirs from the different churches in our community sing various traditional songs, and one woman who did sign language to an unfamiliar, yet beautiful Christmas song. It's a time when all of us from different religions gather together to recognize what we share in common, the celebration of the Savior's birth. It is a wonderful time to see community members and feel of the Christmas spirit.
Each year a different church sponsors the Community Sing. That church organizes the program which includes musical numbers from each of the other churches and it also supplies the location and the refreshments. This year the Baptist church sponsored it and they held it at their summer camp headquarters which is about 20 miles from my house. It was breathtaking because the tall pines still gracefully held puffs of snow on their branches and the sky was crystal clear, allowing a night sky filled with sparkling stars. The members of their church also decorated the outside with lights which added to the atmosphere.
We returned home to a very dark house. Apparently, while we were at the Community Sing our electricity had gone out. It was a weird checkerboard of homes with and without electricity and we happened to be one of the homes without it. We lit candles and huddled around the table where we read and ate ice cream. We then moved down to the basement to enjoy the blazing fire. It was fun to spend time as a family without any of the distractions that electricity can provide. We talked and laughed and snuggled. It was a perfect ending to the evening and when the lights suddenly turned back on, I was a bit disappointed.
Sometimes, in our rush to "do Christmas" and live our lives, I think we forget the simple pleasures of sitting by a fire and reading or telling stories. I hope we can all take a little time to enjoy the simplicity of the season and remember what's truly important in our lives.