My question for this edition:
How are you going to be spending this holiday season? At home? Having friends and/or family over to your house? Or are you going away to spend some time with friends and/or family? Any traditions you are keeping alive this season?
I am on vacation until January 2, 2008. This is my annual stay-at-home vacation when I relax, get some things done around the house that I have been putting off (like cleaning off my desk and bookshelves), and see friends who are in town for the holidays.
Christmas is a very low-key event for our family. We are going to enjoy casual dining, buffet style. I wanted to go out to dinner on Christmas Eve, as we have in recent years, but my sister preferred to stay at home this time, so we will go to her house.
I get to relax after many years spent working on Christmas Eve and Day. I was a liturgical organist, pianist, choir accompanist, and flutist. When I was on staff at one local congregation, I played three services every Christmas Eve (5:00, 7:30, and 11:00 p.m.), in addition to a 10:00 a.m. Christmas morning service. In recent years, I scaled back to only playing the 11:00 p.m. candlelight service. But I don’t even do that any longer since I am no longer a member of a church. As much as I loved playing those services, it was exhausting. I am at a point in my life where I thoroughly enjoy being free from that level of commitment. The two bands of which I am a member presented their Christmas concerts on December 9 and 11, leaving me free to kick back during the remainder of the season. Yes, I will be playing — vacation means lots of extra hours to practice! I’m already learning some of the music for the Stockton Concert Band‘s spring concerts, in addition to my regular preparation for my flute/piccolo lessons.
Today is my birthday so we will be going out to dinner to celebrate either tonight or tomorrow night. I’m hoping to get away this weekend to my favorite pawn shop in a quaint little town in the foothills . . . I have the urge to buy myself some bargain birthday bling (diamonds). My real present is going to be a new cell phone, but I haven’t decided on the model. I need to go to the store, play with a few models, and discuss the available features with a sales person who can explain them to me. After trying out my nephew’s iPhone, I decided it was time to upgrade.