The scenes of Christmas are varied and all have their beauty (or at least a bit of interesting effects that entertain). This season has been busy as usual but despite the heartbreak of the year, so far it’s been okay. I praise God for surrounding me with wonderful people and reminding me of what’s important.

Before I get into the silliness of some of the seasonal decorations and parties, I want to say that my heart has been breaking for the families of the children and teachers killed in the recent shooting in Connecticut. Any loss is terrible, but the thought of our babies being hurt and killed is beyond understanding and beyond what most of us can handle. May God comfort those affected by that horror.

Okay, so we move on and we keep going and of course the reason we celebrate is the coming into the world of Christ our savior. The King came in a modest setting but one that was more beautiful than all the gold palaces of the world. Tonight I went to see the live nativity at a church near my house. It was very nice and I enjoyed the story and song they played. I walked over with Grendel, who saw his first donkey and sheep. He really wanted to go check them out but I kept him away thinking of the stampede that might ensue and the little baby Jesus that may get trampled if Grendel scared the donkey too much.

On the way home I saw a variety of houses lit up. Some were done up Clarke Griswold style—which I LOVE seeing (it’s always better when it’s someone else who does the work and pays the electric bill). And then there was the mansion. These people bought a lot next to my neighborhood and planted a mansion on it and their decorations consist of a small plastic Santa and a string of lights on one of the pillars that frame their multimillion dollar doorway. To tell the truth, I’m not too surprised. In the summer we get to see the plastic-like mini palm trees lining their front side and in the winter we get to see the cheap blue tarp that covers the tacky non-working fountain in the driveway.

It’s been fun seeing friends’ trees and celebrating with friends and co-workers. But I’m most looking forward to the Christmas Eve service and the beauty that resonates inside the church with the candles lit while everyone sings Silent Night. Happy Birthday Jesus!

What are your favorite seasonal scenes? What makes you want to shake your head at the tackiness?


santa commute

Good morning Santa! Santa greets commuters coming into Old Town, Alexandria.

Mansion with a couple tacky lights.


Angels in the nativity scene. Crappy night time iphone shot.

grendel nativity

Grendel sees his first sheep and donkey at the live nativity.