Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

The sun is coming up -- no clouds to temper its enthusiasm -- and the temperature is just above freezing. Just a note before I walk the dog and start the day's activities. Our holiday began last night with the traditional 11 p.m. service at church. The penultimate moments were spent in near-darkness with only the light of the Christ candle. Then the minister lit a small candle from it and began passing the light. One by one, each of our candles were lit until the sanctuary glowed with the combined gleamings. We sang "Silent Night" then waited a moment for the pealing of the bells that heralded midnight. The organ joined in and we all sang "Joy to the World."

Earlier yesterday evening, I indulged in another favorite tradition -- watching "A Christmas Story" with Darren McGavin and Peter Billingsly. This, for me, is the definitive American holiday classic. For travelers who feel the same, here are two suggestions for destinations:
Cleveland -- the house that appeared in the movie has been restored to its cinematic semi-glory -- leg lamp and all -- and is open to the public (www.achristmasstoryhouse.com) and Rogers, Arkansas' Daisy Airgun Museum. Though Ralphie's "200 shot Red Ryder range model air rifle with a compass in the stock" was never produced commercially, you'll find one of the four created for the movie in this neat little museum (www.daisymuseum.com). Merry Christmas and Happy Traveling.

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