The week before Christmas! This is one of my favorite times of the year (stick around and you'll hear that said about once every 3 months or so! LOL). I love decorating the house a bit, putting presents under the tree for the kids and Wes, listening to Christmas music, and all the baking and fellowshipping that happens this time of year. Speaking of music, I stopped by the grocery store yesterday and heard LIVE music as I got out of my car! I looked toward the store entrance and saw the Salvation Army band playing in front of the store, right beside the exit doors. They were playing carols, not pop Christmas songs, and I couldn't help but get tears in my eyes as I walked in. I don't know how things are in the US - I hear all the news about different stores not allowing their employees to wish their customers Merry Christmas - but here in Canada, religious Christmas carols were being played in front of the store, and I didn't see anyone who seemed to be having a problem with it. It brought tears of joy to my eyes to hear songs praising my Lord played in a public place! Jesus Christ was being exalted in the parking lot of Canadian Superstore!
We plan to be busy this week! Tomorrow night is another performance of our Patch the Pirate Club, and Wes has a short program prepared of various Christmas readings and carols. After church, we have the room rented for an extra couple of hours so that we can have an evening of playing games and eating and fellowshipping. Monday night we're going caroling at a local assisted living centre with our church family, then down to the Vancouver Harbour for the Carol Ships. A flotilla of decorated cruise ships and yachts navigates through the various waterways around Vancouver, with stops at several points along the way with carols, hot cocoa, and other entertainment. I've been looking forward to this all season! We had originally planned to go tonight, but the place where they'll be tonight is very small, so traffic and parking will be horrible to go tonight. The places planned for Monday night are larger, with more parking areas. We'll also take some of our church folks with us. Besides, The Sound of Music is coming on tonight - one of my favorite movies! LOL
Wednesday is our first annual Open House for our church family. I have finger foods planned for this drop-in for us to just show our church people how much we love and appreciate them. We've been planning it for a couple of months, and I hope we'll have good attendance!
And that's it till Christmas morning! We'll celebrate with our children, then have our church service at 2 p.m. Because we meet in a community recreation centre, our "church" is closed on Christmas Day, of course! So Wes arranged for us to borrow another church's building for the afternoon. He scheduled our service for 2:00 so that the other church can finish their services, and our people can have the morning for their families and then come to church. We've heard of many churches cancelling their Christmas Day services. That boggles my mind! The time when we celebrate Christ's birth, and we choose to cancel church for it? That just doesn't make sense; it shows the backwards thinking of society, doesn't it, and how closely churches mirror society, in most cases. As for the Hutchens Family, we will be in the Lord's house on Sunday, just like always!