by Mary Johnson 

This is the season when conversations will most likely include a discussion of gifts: “Did you finish all your shopping?” “What do you want for Christmas?” As much as I love Christmas, it’s the part about the gifts that can be stressful. Arriving somewhere and there is a gift for you and you don’t have one to reciprocate can be frustrating. Did I get the just the right thing….or totally miss the mark?

The best conversation I had recently about gifts was from one of the moms in All Things Bright and Beautiful who was explaining to her son that he was THE BEST present she ever got. Wide eyed and very curious he replied: “did I come in a box with a bow?” So then you go to the next element of gifts - the wrapping. Does it have to be in a box with a bow? CAN it be placed in a box with a bow? Some of my most favorite gifts to give cannot be wrapped - for the most part. By that I mean, a ticket to a show or event can be gift wrapped. The actual event which is the key component cannot be contained in a box. A fun tradition we have had is to go as a family to a show during Christmas. When the girls were little, we would alternate years between The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol. As the girls got older, we expanded it to the current Broadway show playing in Chicago. What wonderful memories we have of those occasions. Last year, the girls in the family went to the sing-a-long White Christmas at the Music Box Theater. What a fantastic day. My sister, Martha, and really belted out “Sisters”. We’ll be going again this year and we’re hoping by next year we can get the guys on board.

What I keep coming back to in all of the this is what Pastor Heath has been talking about as the four keys for passing on faith; Caring Conversations, Rituals and Traditions, Devotional Practices, and Service. I think that is the substance of what Christmas is to me. These are not gifts you can put in a box but they are certainly gifts. I received each of these four gifts from my parents and hope I am passing them on to our children.


Rehearsals are underway for the Christmas Pageant that will be presented as a key part of the 4:00 Liturgy on Christmas Eve. If your child would like to participate and you have not already done so, please contact Mary Johnson.


Registration is underway for the 2012-2013 school year. Applications may be found on the website or by contacting Mary Johnson.
School will not be in session from December 19 through January 2. Classes resume January 3.