Sunday, December 24, 2006

Dalton's First Christmas Service

(Originally posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 by Tim)

Today was Dalton?s first Christmas Eve. We are celebrating the occasion in Florida with Cathy?s family. The usual tradition is for them to descend on Cathy?s grandparent?s house in great numbers from a variety of locations. Dinner is consumed and then there everyone moves to the family room for the opening of gifts.

The extended family on Cat?s side is quite large. Cat?s mother has six siblings, each of whom has a family with at least two children each. In addition, there?s a half generation gap between Cathy and most of her cousins. The average cousin age is about 12 years old. This makes for a rather cozy room full of rowdy kids shouting, tearing open presents, and generally increasing the entropy of the universe by several orders of magnitude.

My general defense at this event is to fall asleep. I usually find a comfy spot at the back of the room. When the volume turns up, I tilt my head back and I?m out in a matter of minutes. Unfortunately, I?m a father this year and thus I have a responsibility to stay awake and watch my son experience the event. Well, that and someone took my comfy chair.

Dalton is the first child of his generation. As you might expect, he is the subject of much attention from his great aunts and uncles as well as his first cousins once removed. He received a great many gifts today and participated in some of the unwrapping. Since I was awake anyway, I took the opportunity to snap a few photographs. Today?s photo is a ?representative example?.

After the holiday bonanza, we returned to Cathy?s parents house to open more gifts. Once again, Dalton was a recipient of many gifts. The biggest single category for the day was children?s books. A number of the books were of the ?touch and feel? variety. You may be familiar with these books. They have a picture of a bunny and part of it has some fur attached that bears no small resemblance to astroturf. I got a kick out explaining to Cat?s cousins how these books were crafted. ?Look a bunny!? , I?d exclaim while the page was open to a picture of a rabbit. I?d then point at the textured fur on the rabbit and say, ?and they made it from real bunnies.? I was almost the only one to find this funny the first time I did it and certainly the only one who found it funny the fifth time. Go figure.

Mom reading to Dalton from a book made with kitties in the picture above.

Next, we went to one of the Christmas Eve services at Cat?s parent?s church. While neither Cat nor I are religious, it was quite nice from a number of perspectives.

First, Dalton has now been in two different churches and he hasn?t burst into flames on either occasion. We find this comforting.

Second, tonight?s church was the one in which our wedding was held (neither of us burst into flame on that occasion either). There is some amount of symmetry in the fact that Dalton?s first Christmas service would be spent in the church we were married.

There is also the singing. I have developed a much greater appreciation for singing since Dalton was born. Usually when I?m at a church service, I either mouth the words or sing very softly. I?ve grown to enjoy singing more and it was fun to being doing so in a group this evening. I saved the program as there were a couple of songs that I?d like to sing for Dalton in the future. I had thought that Dalton would enjoy the caroling, but it turned out to be a bit much for him at the late hour. It ?knocked him off the boobie? (disturbed his nursing), he protested, and we were forced to retreat to the ?dome of silence in the back of the church. From there on out, things went pretty well. There were lots of toys in the ?dome of silence? and a big mirror. Dalton really likes mirrors and it is always nice to find one that I?m not afraid he?s going to knock off the wall.

No comments:

Post a Comment