After all of the shopping rush, wrapping, and planning, Christmas was a good day to relax. I shouldn't make the preparation sound like a burden or hassle. It really wasn't -- I just like to complain. The whole weekend was without incident.
Last night, Scott, "Tim", and I exchanged presents at Tim's house and then headed over to St. Andrew Catholic Church for Christmas Eve mass. None of us are Catholic, but we do like a good Christmas Eve church service. It's a tradition I've had with Tim for several years now. In fact, in prior years we've developed a church curcuit "crashing" two to three Christmas Eve services, but we limited ourselves to one this year.
I admit that the liturgy and Eucharist of Catholic services fascinate me -- especially since I was raised in fundamentalist/evangelical churches that disdain "High Church". However, to me, it feels appropriate to acknowledge the history of Christianity on Christmas Eve by attending a more ancient ceremony. I also have to admit that Catholic Christmas Eve services are just more interesting and, yes entertaining, than most protestant services.
I feel a little guilty about "crashing" another community's religious celebration. While I know most churches welcome visitors, I truly have no intention of converting to Catholicism. In fact, I strongly object to the Roman Catholic church's opposition to same-sex relationships (obviously), discrimination against women in the priesthood, its celibacy requirement for its clergy, its opposition to birth control/condoms/abortion, its archaic top-down organization system, and its current/prior handling of its child sex abuse scandals. However, if I were to convert, I think St. Andrew would be the church I would join. This is the second Christmas Eve service we've attended there and the community is always very warm and welcoming. The service emphasized the celebration of Christ's birth with dancers (who we fondly call the Solid Gold Incense Dancers), banners, and upbeat songs. St. Andrew just seems like everything I would want a church to be.
Today, Scott, ma, sis and I met at Aunt Jean's before having dinner at McMenamins Edgefield's Black Rabbit Restaurant. Dinner was great -- although I wished they had turkey on their menu, but the prime rib was very filling. After dinner, we played three rounds of the movie trivia game Scene-It in which Scott mercilessly defeated all of us in.
Overall, it was a great day.