Merry Christmas!

It’s Christmas Day. I came home after a very successful Christmas Eve service at the Presbyterian church, and an intimate and joyful Midnight Mass in the village. Attendance was down at the latter because of storm warnings, but there was no issue getting there or home again. Father was very happy–as were my dear friends in the Presbyterian church.

Christmas Eve involved my re-début as a harpsichordist. It was a chore getting the “runabout” into the car and up the winding 1870 staircase into the balcony. The instrument was very irritated with me at first, but soon settled down and performed faultlessly.

I’d broken a quill–what else?–the night before, and there was no way I could remove the tiny stub with the tools I had on hand. So I swapped jacks, and ordered a tiny jeweler’s pliers and a wearable magnifying glass, to make the repair ASAP.

Nevertheless–“Spunky”  played like a champion last night. His minor complaints at being moved soon disappeared in the pleasure of being played well! (Please understand–this harpsichord has been under many expert fingers. I’m just saying that he forgave me for the car ride and long haul up the winding 1870 staircase.)

The handbell choir–The Emmaus Ringers–gave their best performance to date. Progress is obvious. Their “Bell Peal” and “Carol of the Bells” were excellent.

I was moved to tears by the “Organ Fund” envelopes in every bulletin. Here’s hoping.

Afterwards, a delightful gathering at a choir member’s home. Baked brie covered in brown sugar, Asian-style boneless chicken wings,  shrimp, cinnamon apple sauce, homemade stromboli, goodies galore. I drank only water, as I had much to do yet. The tree was surrounded by a big Lionel train set. I had a Lionel set in New York City when I was little.

Back in the village, Midnight Mass was pleasant and deeply religious. I chanted the Sanctus and Agnus Dei, and we sang favorite carols. Father was very happy, as was the congregation.

I got home through a light dusting of snow by 1 AM. Not a creature was stirring…

This morning, the tree was on and a beautiful Christmas morning ensued. Gifts were simple and greatly appreciated: cookies, candies, a few toiletries (I love Pinaud!) and so on. There were even Trappistine candies. Look them up online!

I made my mother’s fantastic cheese-ball recipe for a dinner later today, up in the Black Dirt Country of my own adopted town. Major Grey’s Chutney is involved. I haven’t made these in years, and as I licked the mess off my fingers I was amazed all over again at how good they are.

These are not the “port wine cheddar”  pure plastic cheese balls you get online. These are a worthy Christmas dish! The last time I made them, they vanished in seconds. Let’s see about today.

Merry Christmas. It’s a beautiful day.

About Jon

Keyboard artist, sacred musician, teacher, writer, working in New York City and State. Many interests include music theory and history, literature, astronomy, genealogy, philosophy and theology, gardening, and good food.
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