Christmas in New Jersey, part 2 (plus a comic)

For starters:

I like to think of myself as a reasonably smart, wise, thinking person, but sometimes comics just figure out how to be more profound than I can manage to be! Gotta love the unintentional Lutheran law/Gospel undertones here. (Yes. I am a Lutheran geek.)

So I left off on Wednesday afternoon, when we were about to go to PTS Lessons and Carols and then have Jon and Gretchen over for more cards. The service was incredible. Beautiful music, chosen specifically for a "Carols of Many Nations" theme. Each of the readings was printed in the bulletin for the congregation to read along as international students read them in their native languages. I miss PTS terribly, I realized, and at the same time, I loved being an experience-r rather than a performer. Music, candles, faith, community: these are things that make up Christmas for me.

Matt's brother got home late Wednesday night, carrying with him his Christmas present to his girlfriend: a fat, cuddly cat named Bullwinkle. I, of course, am completely thrilled about having a cat around. :)

On Thursday, I ran a few errands with Matt's mom and then we went out to a girls-only lunch at Teresa's, one of my favorite restaurants in Princeton. It was nice bonding time - we became very close during my first year of seminary, when I was homesick and she quickly became my Princeton mom. So it felt really nice to spend time together again. That evening, I went to St. Paul's (the church I attended during seminary) to rehearse with their choir, since I'm singing with them Christmas Eve (tonight, that is!). My family became members of a Lutheran church at home when I was a senior in high school, so even though I certainly consider that church my home church and church family, I've probably spent as much total time getting to know and being apart of this congregation in the Princeton area, so it certainly felt like a homecoming to show up there on Thursday night. It's a wonderful congregation and I was blessed to have spent so much time with them. I'm excited to be back, even if it's only for a very short time.

After choir, Matt and I went over to a friend's house, where I got my first taste of the Nintendo Wii. I thought I'd hate it, or be too self-conscious for all of the motion-sensing games, but we had a blast. It turns out that I'm a good golfer and a decent bowler.

Friday was another day full of friends. I met up with my friend Christa, from PTS, and we had a lovely dinner and lovely conversation together, catching up on this past semester's worth of news. Later that night, Matt and I got together with more of his high school friends, this time for Shanghai Rummy.

And then yesterday. Yesterday was a very lazy day. We made a quick Target run, but other than that, we sat around relaxing for the rest of the day. Last night, we got together with a whole crowd of Matt's high school friends, playing the Wii, playing pool and ping pong, eating a random mix of Christmas-themed foods (cookies, candy cane ice cream, toffee) and Asian candy. We did a terrible job of coming home at a reasonable hour, and so since we didn't get to bed until almost 3, today has been equally as uneventful, seeing as we both slept until 11, and have only managed to shower and eat lunch so far today. But later we will go to church with Matt's family and then St. Paul's for late-night church. It is Christmas Eve for certain.

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