Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas moments 1

Prince is an interesting fellow. His first present was, as he accurately observed with surprise, "Clothes!" It was clear the thought had not yet entered his head that clothes were Christmas presents. He then calculated much as Mr. Data would - though he has not yet met the beloved Android - and declared that he needed to go put his new clothes in his clothes drawer. This he ran off to do each time he received clothes.

If that were the end of it, there would be nothing much to report. But the next two days he was exceptionally eager to wear those new clothes. He even asked me on Sunday, "Daddy, are these the shorts that go with the Buzz shirt?" to make sure he didn't wear the shorts with the wrong shirt. So clearly he is interested... he's just showing it in unexpected ways....


For Christmas we were a church of one family. I based our Christmas program off the scroll of scriptures my mother made long ago at BYU, telling the story of Christ's birth and some of the prophecies of it. Among the things I enjoy about having my own family is getting the chance to read the scroll like my father before me. By itself that has been a wonderful and heart-filling tradition.

This Christmas, I wept as I read the scriptures aloud.

I have little enough idea why. There wasn't any particular revelation or realization or connection for me. My soul just longed to have been there.


Our favorite driver, Diamond, invited us to join his church for a Christmas party. Since he had been so kind as to accept our invitation to come to church in October, and since we looked forward to spending time with local Nigerians who aren't affiliated with AUN necessarily, we happily agreed. "One of the things we can say about the event is that Joy enjoyed it and felt comfortable," she adds. "This is high praise." We were placed in seats of honor by the pastor and church board (which meant we had a tablecloth and probably a wider selection of drinks). We had sung some Christmas carols to Diamond on one of our trips, so he signed us up to sing for everyone too.

That was a very nice part of it. Our singing is quite different from theirs, so it was nice to experience their traditions and share ours. When we sang Silent Night, Prince leaned in to the microphone for a big swoop during "sleep in heavenly peeeeeeaaaaaace." For many people, it was probably the most memorable moment of the evening, that swoop. Prince also enjoyed saying "Hallelujah!" after every other sentence from our MC. "Put your hands together for Jesus," Joy recites. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah.

They had a dance competition and a cookoff and a singing competition and an eating competition and probably a couple others as well. Prince and I wandered around the new auditorium they are building, designed in two floors to seat 2-4000 members.