Christmas is a busy time, and adding to the busyness is usually a few Christmas parties. I'm thankful to be a part of some extraordinary groups who celebrate this holiday for its true meaning, Jesus' birth. As I write this, I've already attended three parties so far. By the time you read this I will have attended four.
The first party was with my writer's critique group, Tuesday's Children. I've been meeting weekly with these ladies for twenty years, so they're really more like family than work associates. Every year we gather at one of our houses and have a potluck brunch and exchange used books taken from our own book shelves. This year I got a few children's books that I can pass on to my grandchildren as gifts. Score! Some of us also bring a Christmas thought, either a story, a game, something we've written, or a devotion we found. This gathering is one of our favorite times of the year and it draws members who can't always meet weekly with us. Here's a picture taken at last year's party. This year's big regret was that we forgot to take a picture!
The second party I attended was at the Choices Pregnancy Center, where I volunteer as a peer counselor one day a week. This is a new endeavor for me this year, so it was fun to go and meet other people who also work there and have a heart for this ministry. We had lots of yummy food, played some games (CatchPhrase, anyone?) and got better acquainted. It was a special time and I'm so thankful to be part of this organization,
Next, since my husband is a Gideon (you know, those guys who hand out free Bibles and put them in the hotels), we attended the Gideon Christmas dinner. It was a lovely evening with a delicious meal of ham, turkey, potatoes, salad, rolls, and red velvet cake. After dinner, there was special music sung by one of the members, then a Christmas story read to us by another. Then we all joined together in singing Christmas carols and a couple of door prizes were given away. The Gideons have a tradition of ending all their meetings by forming a circle and singing "Blessed Be the Tie that Binds," then closing with prayer. It was a wonderful evening and fun to see friends I hadn't seen in a while.
The last Christmas gathering I'll attend is at my church. We'll have a dinner in the evening, followed by a Christmas service. It's always a special time of closeness and reflection. This year we're also adding in a time to do a service project to give to families in need. It will remind us of our great blessings, the greatest being the gift of Jesus, given at Christmas.
So that's my Christmas party schedule this year, except for the family gatherings.
What about you? Are you attending any special get-togethers this season?