Story # 10: In our community every single Christmas Eve evening we meet on a triangular hill that sits in the middle of three churches called God’s acre. A little wooden bandstand is set up and band players dressed up in red and green hats, sweaters and scarves , who look like they were released from the local retirement center for the evening stand next to their canes and wheelchairs, pull out their worn instruments, lick their chapped lips, and play. (They get to play on the 4th of July too.)
Most of the town comes with their families and distant relatives to sing Christmas carols all together. There is usually a mass or two just before we meet so people pour from the churches dressed in Christmas attire. We hold candles, and pass around words to the songs. As we shiver in the Christmas Eve air we warm our souls by singing our hearts out while wax drips on our gloves. Our children try to burn the music sheets with their lighted candles and we harmonize poorly. We alternate lifting up and bending down during Jingle Bells.
We sing in snow, in rain, in fog, in dropped temperatures. We hug our neighbors and wave to our acquaintances, give treats to the police and fireman then walk a distance to our cars to drive home. It is one of those brief moments in a lifetime that is really a miracle in itself as the town gathers together to share a little bit of Christmas before it “Poofs” and floats away.