This Christmas had a few firsts for me. I think this was the first Christmas I've ever spent without my mom, and (in a completely unrelated way) probably the least ulcer-inducing holiday I've experienced since I was old enough to understand the meaning of family dysfunction.
Also, this was the first time I'd ever attended church on Christmas Eve (well, there was one other time, but it was sort of against my will, and I had to leave after a few minutes because Sweet Potato's Dorothy Barbie kept shouting "There's no place like home!" between the shouts of "Praise Be to God.")
We joined the Unitarian Church at 7 p.m. for the Eve service, including a Christmas pageant in which Sweet Potato played the part of a shepherd at the birth of Christ. Now, why the Unitarians celebrate the birth of Christ is probably a topic that's better left for another post.
Have you heard this joke? I heard it on Prairie Home Companion, so it can't be all that offensive: What do you get when you cross a Unitarian and a Jehovah's Witness? Someone who knocks on your door and doesn't know why.
Back to the pageant: Since Sweet Potato was a shepherd, Buckaroo played the part of her sheep-- sort of like the Joan and John Cusack of the spiritual world. The minister encouraged him to roam freely about the sanctuary during the service, and at one point he stood on the stairs of the altar and just stared out at the congregation from under his fluffy white sheep ears.
I'll have to finish up later. I hear movie music playing in the den.