2005 Skelly Family Christmas

Simply having a wonderful Christmastime

Christmas Day pictures! Click here.

Christmas started off in a small stone and wood-paneled church on the bay across from Fort Moultrie (site of one of the first American victories of the Revoltionary War) on Sullivan's Island. Turns out there's not a lot of Midnight Masses around here.

First time we went to this church, we didn't stay. Very crowded, and the place had a strong mildewy smell. Last time they remodeled, they left one part of the interior stone exposed to show off the high water mark from Hurricane Hugo (1989)—about three feet up the wall. Immediately made my sinuses act up. No mildew last night though. Masked by clouds of incense. Woke up with a stuffy nose this morning though.

They do a Latin Mass there every week, and Midnight Mass was sprinkled with Latin as well. The altar (sp. corr. by SVW, 3/15/10) is a pre-Vatican II-style, tall white marble affair positioned against the back wall, and the priest celebrates Mass with his back to the people, as in days of yore. In this case, con-celebrates. Two priests, five altar (sp. corr. by SVW, 3/15/10) boys and a lector. Crowed little Sanctuary. And the little congregation sings every verse of most hymns.

A half-hour of caroling before (including Lo, How a Rose E're Blooming—not one I've heard many congregations tackle.) And a hard-working choir whose repertoire included hymns I've heard performed only by Manheim Steamroller or by the fourteenth century choir I heard when I time-traveled that time. The lady next to me sure could sing. As could others around me. Made me feel like I was with the Methodists, of whom in my experience it can truly be said they raise a joyful noise unto The Lord.

Everyone was home for Christmas Eve dinner, and no one complained about the menu. Roasted pork and potatoes go down a lot better in my house than stuffed crown rack of lamb. (In the middle of dinner last year, Sarah asked for a hamburger.) Nobody liked the wine though—A Gewürztraminer. Is okay, more for me. First present of the season.

Day is winding down. Eggnog was a killer, but I'm still vertical. Martha Stewart's recipe. Well, she learned something in jail. More cognac, bourbon and dark rum than cream and milk. And more takers than I expected. Nobody liked the dinner wine though—a Viognier. Now I got to go finish that before I start the Sambuca I gave myself for Christmas. Hope your Christmas was peaceful and joyful. I still got a whole football game to go, and I'm way behind on my drinking. I got open bottles everywhere. This day is so short.

12:30 am. Guess it's over. Still standing. I think.

They said there'd be snow at Christmas
They said there'd be peace on earth.
Hallelujah, Noel, Be it heaven or hell,
The Christmas we get we deserve.
   I Believe in Father Christmas, Greg Lake (1975)

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