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Des Moines, Iowa


A whole buncha Christmas

Geoff Wood

As the clerk at Target told us on Sunday night, December 11 is pretty late for Christmas. We were trying to buy some stocking holders for the mantel and they were out. Its my fault for putting off Christmas decorating. Hope’s been wanting to do it for awhile and she finally got her wish as we wrapped a whole buncha Christmas into last weekend.

The weekend started off on a high note as I gathered at BW3’s in Castleton with the Indianapolis Cyclone Club on Friday night for the ISU-Iowa basketball game. The unranked Cyclones put up an impressive victory of the #12 Hawkeyes leading by as much as 20 in the second half before Iowa narrowed the gap to 12 points at the final. Hope wasn’t able to attend since she was busy with dress rehearsal for the Christmas pageant at church.

I haven’t written much about our church here in Indy, but it’s a spectacle. It’s the largest United Methodist Church in the jurisdiction (which is from the Dakotas to Ohio and all points north). We really enjoy all it has to offer and one thing we’ve noticed is they don’t do anything small. Thus, is true with the Christmas pageant. It was on Saturday night and Hope was not only in it but also wrote the dialog as the transition from song to song. It included: ballet dancers, waltzers in tuxes and matching gowns, the children’s choir, handbells, lots of solos and quartet pieces, etc. Not to shabby for the first time they’ve ever done it (the head count was about 800 for the one show). Our friends John & Ellen ventured outside Catholicism so I didn’t have to sit alone after intermission.

Sunday was the big pre-Holiday. As is Hope’s tradition we bought a live Christmas tree (my family has always used fake ones). It’s not the full day activity she’s used to (driving with the fam to the tree farm, selecting and cutting the tree yourself, cookies & cocoa with Santa as they bag the tree, then strapping it to the roof of the van) - we just bought one at the hardware store down the street. Back to church, on Sunday evening we attended the Live Nativity. It's not uncommon for churches to reenact the birth of Jesus around Christmas time. However, this church doesn't do the reenactment on the lawn - it's in the sanctuary complete with a horse, sheep and camels. Yep, two live camels in the sanctuary. What a weird tradition.

Speaking of weird Christmas traditions, the business folk here in northeast Indianapolis have a really bizarre one. They put Christmas trees on top of office buildings. I've never noticed it before we moved here (it may take place all over) but I find it really odd to have full decorated trees five, six, ten stories up - if you're in the area of Keystone & 86th you know what I'm talking about.

Excuse the quality of the photos (all were really far away and the last two were very dark, I used my expert photoshop skills to brighten and contrast).