This year my wife and I have been searching for peace. We have been trying to slow things down this season. We have spent a couple evenings listening to the Christmas carols on our iPod, lighting the candles and lanterns around the Nativity scene, enjoying the quiet serene, discussing little of the day’s troubles, and healing.
I wanted to do something special for Christmas and this was my attempt at sharing some of the peaceful moments we have experienced on the homestead. The audio is from a 1978 record, Christmas Portrait, by the Carpenters. I used our Zoom H4N to record the music through the headphone jack, edited it using Audacity, and embedding it into the video. Besides “A Charlie Brown Christmas” all the scenes shot are done by us.
Tonight, we will attend the traditional Christmas Eve Candle light Service; I love this tradition and have done it for years as a young child to my middle aged years, but now it seems to have changed. The people have changed. I hear people talking, getting up in the service, answering their phones, making unusual noises, and it is no longer a place of awe and wonder or a place of respect. My wife and I attended a community Christmas play, five years ago in a neighboring town, and the respect for the performers was unlike anything I have witnessed. It was as if people came to socialize, surf the internet on their phones, have full conversations about their lives than to sit as an audience and enjoy the show. People were getting up for snacks, taking smoke breaks, and talking on their cell phones about how boring the performance, they never even began paying attention to, was. We could barely hear the performance, and our son was bewildered by all the activity in the audience to realize a play was even happening. We are changing as a people; we are becoming disconnected from each other and from our own civility. Much of our society has lost the sense of being peaceful or to be at rest.
Change has also come to our local mall since we moved here. I must apologize for the video of the mall. My camera has no gimbal, and it was hard to stabilize the shot. However, I wanted to demonstrate some of the retail apocalypse that has occurred since we moved here in 2010. I wish I had a video of the mall then when it also had a Sears, Portrait Studio, Hot Dog/Sandwich Place, a Hallmark, a Vacuum/Sewing repair shop, an antique furniture store, A full service sit and dine cafe/restaurant, GNC, hair salon, Liquor Store, and a Bar. The mall is slowly being converted into a strip mall and the original interiors are being partitioned off and lost. The community space and mall walking is slowing disappearing.
The mall footage was filmed during the height of Black Friday, as you can see, the shopping was very stress free, not like you would find in the big cities. The other footage is of our property and some of our Christmas decorations in our home. Some of you may have noticed the Magi were not with the Nativity Scene. A tradition I started in our home is the Wise Men travel each day from the east side of the home to the Nativity Scene. They will arrive some time late tonight for Christmas day. Some people do “elf of the shelf;” I travel the Magi through the house during the month of December until they arrive at the manger for Christmas. Our son has a small Nativity of his own and has joined in the traveling of the Wise Men as well.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. And, may you find peace this Christmas.