Angel Tree - and I don't know how much money we raised for the mission. The Parish Day School has put on their plays and tonight we go caroling before having a potluck chili supper. Yep. Busy time of year.
We've also been collecting money for poinsettias for the "Greening of the Church." Now, I've recently returned to the fold, as it were - and I never really gave it any thought when I was younger - who decorates the church for Christmas? I always figured it was the Altar Guild, and maybe it used to be that way, but now it's kind of a big deal and they ask for volunteers to help out. So this year, I decided to join in even though I'm not really very good at floral decorating-type stuff.
Um. Wow. This was a HUGE production. With lots of players who all had their own ideas about what should be done and who should do it. See that wreath? It is absolutely gorgeous! One of our church members made it using an old form from a previous year. But the wall behind the altar has recently been redone and there was no way to put the wreath up there. So they tried it over here. Um. yeah... no. It was just too big for that space.
Finally, after several incarnations of decorating the middle (including a rather hideous frame for a poinsettia pyramid), it was decided that we'd find a way for that wreath to hang on the wall behind the altar. Someone went and bought some white hooks and brought a drill back. Someone else found a ladder and the wreath was removed from the too small wall and it got hung on the rear wall. I was pretty sure that after the wreath went up, the rest of the decorating would fall into place. It did. Really, get the focal point done and decorate around it. It's the only way to go.
The nativity scene needed a little work... greenery was added to the roof of the manger, and the hurricane-like seas of burlap were toned down a bit. Three angels were put up high with a few magnolia leaves and doves to watch over the proceedings.
The Advent candles already had greenery around them, but we added some holly with berries attached to liven it up a little. Things were starting to come together. Allan and I went to find more magnolia leaves, poinsettia and evergreen shrubs were placed, white lilies of some kind graced the shelf below the wreath. Slowly but surely, it was coming together.
I am one to err on the side of simplicity. I'm not one for the overdone look, which it seemed we might be going for for a while there. But Christmas is special and the beauty of the church when I left was definitely enhanced. Our floral lady was still puttering around when I left, but I think we were essentially done. Just before I left, I put two poinsettias out under the cross by the entrance and put some evergreen boughs behind it. Puts a little Christmas-y touch out there before you ever even get in.
It was an experience - and now I know how it gets done. Believe me... it's a miracle.