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Admittedly, this is **not** the typical Santa picture. LOL. However, there’s quite a story to this picture. Previously in the week, my son and I had made an impromptu stop at a used book store. We were surprised to find that this bookstore had a meet-and-greet Santa center. More surprisingly, no one was around whatsoever to partake of the Santa offering. This made my son the one and only child in the area that Santa could “greet.” Well, Santa went above and beyond his duties. He went so far beyond the parameters of the typical Santa encounter that he nearly ruined our Christmas. How did he do this, one might ask. I shall tell you. When prompted for his Christmas list, my son simply stated that he wanted a truck. Santa wasn’t impressed. He wanted more details. My son blurted out that he wanted a “real” truck. Oh, ho ho! At this point, Santa clicked into gear like a used car salesman. He started asking my son what make and model was preferred. He wanted to know the tire size, the desired options, the transmission type (i.e., manual, automatic), and whether or not satellite radio was optional. Santa then stated quite clearly that he would try and get my son a fully loaded, red GMC truck with black interior and satellite radio. And, he mumbled something about it essentially being illegal, but he would try! My son didn’t pick up on the “try” part, and he went about telling all his family and friends that we were definitely getting a new truck, because Santa had said so.

Now, fast-forward to the following Sunday. I confirmed that Santa would be making his annual Christmas visit to the Sunday school kids. This was not surprising, as it is the tradition. Surprising was the fact that someone I know would be Santa. I pulled the man aside and explained my truck dilemma. He was quite understanding and conspired to tell my son that there was a “shipping disaster” that would–sadly–make a Christmas delivery impossible. LOLOL. In the picture above, he is trying to whisper in my son’s ear that no “real truck” will be forthcoming. The horror!

Santa's Big Secret

Santa's Big Secret

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Previously, my son featured as a stationary “moose in the manger” during our annual Christmas Pageant. This was quite last minute, and he was bewildered by all the traditional Christmas carols with their “big” words. He was a sport about the entire thing, but he likely would not have opted to do this of his own free will and accord. This year was quite different. He realized that being in the Christmas pageant was the cool thing to do. He watched friends vie for coveted speaking roles and gladly stay after church or come on off-days just to rehearse. My son wanted in on the action, and he very deliberately decided he was a goat. Not only was he a goat, he was a singing goat that crawled down the main aisle with the big boy shepherds! He was willing to attend all the rehearsals and he is contemplating wanting some simple speaking role in the future.

Holly Jolly Christmas Goat

Holly Jolly Christmas Goat

My son and I recently attended a production of Dicken’s A Christmas Carol staged by a local Waldorf school. The production was fantastic. Imaginative use of the theater space, the introduction of natural elements such as tree branches and the introduction of songs focusing on poverty and compassion added to the production. It was yet another reminder of the importance of Unitarian Charles Dickens important contributions to the evolution of Christmas sentiments. In fact, on Christmas Eve, I am contemplating going to a special Unitarian lecture on the topic of Dicken’s secular contributions to the season. Ordinarily, I would bypass an event due to my son’s activity levels. However, his behavior during the stage production show that he does have the stamina and overall ability to sit quietly for an extended period of time.

The highlight of our December focus table was our wooden calendar with an attendant Jack Frost, Tomten, and Snow Spirit. We also had a menagerie of sleeping animals interspersed with animals attired in their winter finest. The calendar (created by Etsy artist MamaRoots) is based on a european folktale called the Twelve Brothers. It’s quite similar to Cinderella stories and has a seasonal aspect to it. MamaRoot’s calendar is a beautiful and functional depiction of the story, and we will treasure it for years to come.

The books were less inspired. I had originally wanted to focus on a weather theme, but I went the easy route and purchased a pile of seasonal and holiday books from Building 19. One book stood out among them. It was entitled The Christmas Candle, and it was written by Richard Paul Evans. It’s a beautiful story that addresses the issue of social justice at this seemingly charitable time of year.

December Focus TAble

December Focus Table

Somehow, my son made it into the Christmas pageant. This was surely not my intention, as I assumed he was too young. I think things transpired when I assisted at a rehearsal for older UU chidren. Suddenly, my son was donning moose antlers, and he was in the manager. Apparently, this sort of thing isn’t unusual at the church. Apparently, a Unicorn was on-hand for the “blessed event” a few years past.

Moose in the Manger

Moose in the Manger

 Moose up Close

Moose up Close

One of the highlight’s of the season is a Halloween costume party thrown by our local, Unitarian Church. Every year, on a Friday evening close to Halloween, the UU children are treated to an evening of themed crafts and pizza and games. It culminates in a candlelight tour of the “haunted meeting house.” This year, the children took a fairly sedate trip through the darkened meeting house while atmospheric music played in the background. There was nothing overtly spooky to the experience, but the shadows cast by the church’s old architecture played tricks on the mind. My son loved it. It’s a welcome contrast to the busy streets of Salem filled with drunken revelers, hectic traffic, and adult venues.

Halloween Crafts Table

Halloween Crafts Table


Halloween Crafts Table

Halloween Crafts Table

Making Spider Trees

Making Spider Trees

I’m new to WordPress, but it looks like someone did a search on our blog to see if we read the gospel. The answer to the question would be yes and no. We don’t study theem extensively or read them exclusively as some fundamentalist homeschooling households do, though we will have a whole year of Bible studies in the future (second grade).¬†We’re Unitarians. I’m a Unitarian Sunday School teacher. I taught a course called Bibleodeon last year that touched upon the gospel. This year, I’m teaching Tapestry of Faith. ¬†Unitarians study scriptures from all faith traditions. My son should be attending his own weekly Tapestry classes, as well. Here are two of my favorite Unitarian songs. The first is based on a poem by the Islamic poet Rumi, and the second is more of a folk song.