Posts Tagged ‘Church


The 12 Ways of Christmas: midnight mass

[Part 11]

Mom and Dad had some presents under the tree early, the ones from them and Grandma and Uncle Dennis and Aunt Kay, but they were off limits until Christmas. The ones from Santa, of course, came later. I didn’t have to worry about those, but these were there to taunt me.

Most of them were clothes. Who cared, right? But some of them, the smaller ones, probably—the strangely shaped ones, right?—those were toys.

If I was good enough (if I begged and pestered my parents enough, nicely, gently), they would let me open one present—just one—before we left for midnight mass on Christmas Eve. I don’t think they for one second expected me to not beg. I don’t think I ever convinced them of anything. I think they always had one intended for Christmas Eve. But it was one of those child-and-parent games we played. Continue reading ‘The 12 Ways of Christmas: midnight mass’


It’s About Chime

Every hour, on the hour, a church in my neighborhood plays the Westminster chimes. I gave up wearing a watch years ago in favor of the time on my cell phone. Checking the time is almost more of an obsession now that it’s not literally on me, so I always know what time it is — usually because I am running late for something. The time-worn chime of those bells is totally superfluous, but there is some comfort in its regularity. It has not given up on us, if we care to listen.

I love those moments when I accidentally catch them. Usually I’m too busy, or I’m just not paying attention. Granted, the last time I heard them, I was sitting on the toilet. I find that shitting rivals showers and mowing the lawn for the moment I am most alone, in my own head. But hearing those bells reminds me to be quiet, to listen. Those chimes remind me it’s ok to pause for as many seconds as it takes to sound out 9, 10, 11 rings, and to count along, even though I already know exactly what time it is. (Apparently the church’s clock runs two minutes behind the time kept by AT&T.) Sometimes it’s just good to count along. Then you take a breath. Then you get back to work.

the untallied hours