I did go at least once in the past ten years – I know the time frame because our current pastors were there. It is the one service you can go to in your pajamas, if one were to have a mind to.
Christmas is on a Sunday this year.
1960: Christmas was on a Sunday. I don’t recall what time my sister Leslie, who was 6, and I, who was 7, were allowed to wake up our parents. Baby sister Marcia was only two and we wouldn’t wake her up until she got up on her own.
I DO know that as we got older, the time got later and later before we could open the presents. (That’s Leslie and me in the pic, probably a couple of years earlier.)
1966: Christmas was on a Sunday. I delivered the paper six evenings a week, back in the olden days when there WERE afternoon papers, and then on Sunday morning, back in Binghamton, NY.
My father, who NEVER helped me with my route, because it was MY job, not his – not that I ever asked him – got up (or maybe stayed up) to help me deliver that thick newspaper to my customers on Clinton Street, Front Street and McDonald Avenue. That meant a lot to me, but I doubt that I ever said so.
1977: Christmas was a Sunday. I was probably crashing on the sofa of friends of mine in Schenectady, near Albany. That whole year was difficult, and I lived in New Paltz, NY; Charlotte, NC; Binghamton; Jamaica, Queens, NYC; back to New Paltz; and finally in the Electric City (GE was huge there at the time). It was undoubtedly the worst year of my life, even though I made some friends that year I still have. I had no sense that 1978 would be MUCH better.
1988: Christmas was a Sunday. I had left FantaCo, the comic book store less than two months earlier, burned out. Probably in a relationship crisis.
1994: Christmas was a Sunday. I had started my current job on October 19 of that year. But I was very DEFINITELY in a relationship crisis.
2005: Christmas was a Sunday. The Daughter was born the year before, the Wife and I were in our current house, in our current church. Life is pretty good.
Berlioz: the shepherds farewell from the oratorio L` enfance du Christ”