Somehow this year the Christmas Eve celebration at our church devolved into a Santa sing-song with apple cider. O, the intentions were right. I think the event started to disintegrate with the acquisition of a karaoke machine.
The short and sweet celebration was to take place between 7 and 8 on Christmas Eve. Four tables were set out in the sanctuary. In the centre of each table sat a fat red candle surrounded by Christmas greenery. The lights were dimmed.
At 7, there were two lonely red vans in the parking lot, but by 7:20, six families offered up 17 representatives. We were a somewhat laid-back bunch...ready to participate in whatever the evening held. The pastor sat behind the karaoke machine, a machine he was not familiar with. How hard could it be?
The titles of songs available on four discs were printed out on sheets distributed at the tables. Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Joy to the World and Silent Night mixed in with I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause, Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. We were encouraged to come up to the microphones placed in front of the karaoke screen.
The machine burped out, Angels from the Realms of Glory. Even to my unmusical ears it sounded very wrong. "Anaang-els frooom the Reaaaaaalmssss of ...." Amy volunteered to take the disc over to the manse next door to be cleaned.
In the meantime, singing along with God-glorifying Christmas carols on a malfunctioning karaoke machine seemed sacrilegious. We tried the less serious "Santa songs." These songs could take a little abuse from the machine without messing with our sense of propriety. We sang a number of seasonal songs including, Chestnuts Roasting by a Fire, Let It Snow, and the all-time low, Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. We had fun acting out in front of the microphones and drinking the tasty cider. In no time at all, it was 8 p.m. and time to go home. The pastor prayed.
In our red van on the way home, our family decided to find a Christmas morning church service to satisfy our desire to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.