Tuesday afternoon, three of us from the Altar Guild met at church and tried to get things set up for the Christmas Eve services. We replaced the dry greens around the Advent wreath, put fresh magnolia leaves in the window sills, got the crèche figures out and set them around the base of the font, so they could be handed to the kiddles to carry up to the altar at the early service. We put the poinsettias around the altar, but we knew they needed rearranging, as we couldn’t find the stands normally used to put them at different levels.
There were a number of things that simply didn’t get done. The head of the Altar Guild is very, very, ill and simply didn’t have the energy to do some of the stuff, and there are two new men in charge of the Property Committee (The Squire always did everything alone) and they have rearranged things to a fare-thee-well, without consulting the ladies, so we couldn’t find half the stuff we needed. You’d think any man would have enough sense to keep his hands off things that concern women, but apparently not.
The church has an outdoor Christmas tree of sorts – strings of lights going from the ground to the top of the flag pole – and it wasn’t lit when we got there at 10 PM. The new Property Warden said the timer had been on for six hours, and that seemed to be the end of it as far as he was concerned. The original set-up went on and off by the ambient light, but apparently that is no longer being used. The new man, poor soul, had also used a ladder to attach the strings of lights to the ring at the top of the flagpole, instead of dropping it down and working from the ground, so we only had six strings instead of sixteen.
Ah, well. I have no room to talk. I was the crucifer cum LEM at the late service and totally forgot to light any of the candles – not the candelabra behind the altar, not the sconces, and not even the candles ON the altar. For some wondrous reason, I kept tripping over my alb. It’s the same one I’ve worn for years, and the same style shoes I’ve always worn. Beats me. I just seemed to be a half-beat off all night.
The Squire and I slept in this morning until an outrageous hour, and then simply started fixing Christmas dinner, rather that eating breakfast. Afterward, we exchanged our gifts. (see “Try to Act Surprised”, parts 1 and 2) The Squire settled into the recliner with the first book of the Safehold series, Off Armageddon Reef, and I promised not to disturb him until 5:00, as we are leaving at 6, to go up to Eldest Daughter’s for a late supper. I figure if I play my cards right, he’ll be finished in time for me to take the book to work on Monday.
Not as dumb as I look.