“Home for the holidays” is a phrase that has taken on new significance in my life this year. For the first time, our son Patrick will be “home for the holidays” – coming home after completing his first semester away at college. Things will be different, of course; though he did visit for two days at Thanksgiving, this will be the first extended visit home that Patrick has made after going out into the world on his own for the first time. The pressures of school will be off his shoulders, and he will be able to do all those things young people look forward to doing at Christmas break: sleeping late, eating home-cooked meals, catching up with friends. And for Jennifer and me, it will simply be a blessing to have him in our home once again, day after day, night after night. It is the best gift we could possibly receive!
With the holidays upon us, I hope that you will make time to share the spirit of the season with your Heritage Church family. For all of the women in our community, there’s the annual Clara Barton Guild Holiday Dinner on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at church. Everyone – of all ages – is invited to our annual Christmas Tree Trimming party in the sanctuary after the church service on Sunday, Dec. 7. Be part of helping transform our sanctuary into a holiday wonderland. If you are new to HUUC and have never seen our spectacular Christmas tree, you’re in for quite a treat!
As always, Jennifer and I will open our home to church folks and friends for our Holiday Open House, on the following Sunday afternoon, Dec. 14, between the hours of 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. If you wish to bring a snack or drink to share, you are welcome to do so, but there is no expectation that you arrive with anything other than your holly, jolly self! Then the next Sunday, Dec. 21, our monthly potluck lunch after service takes on a decidedly Christmas-y feel. Don’t miss it – and do be sure to bring something hearty and festive to share with the hungry crowd.
We culminate the season with our Christmas Eve worship service at HUUC on Wednesday evening, Dec. 24. Our wonderful Choir and musicians will sing and play for us. We will share in the traditions of candlelight and sacred readings. There is nothing quite like the beauty of “Silent Night” in the darkened Heritage sanctuary, with faces lit by the warm glow of candles. After the service, stick around for a bit and enjoy Christmas cookies and apple cider in the Great Hall. Invite your friends and neighbors, and be sure to arrive early – parking is always at a premium on this very special night.
However you and your family choose to celebrate the holidays – and whatever holidays you choose to celebrate – I wish you a joyous season of love, laughter and light.