Activity on the day before Christmas

Christmas is almost here again, and I’m only now really getting into the groove. Until a couple of days ago, I was far too focused on work.

In my defense, it’s not for a wanting to focus too much on work, it was purely out of necessity. We’re working on a huge project with a lot of challenges and expectations. In order to make sure we deliver well in time for our deadlines with the right level of quality, I need to spend a lot of time ensuring that the team has done their due diligence in getting it all ready, and helping them out as much as I can so they can focus on the need and not on the other requests circling above.

That’s been my last two months or so.

Somewhere in all that, I managed to buy Christmas presents for Alex. And that was about the only person I spent a lot of concerted effort on. Again, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t for a lack of wanting to spend effort on others. It was time — specifically, the lack thereof. Were it not for Alex and her dedication, the rest of my family wouldn’t be receiving much more than a phone call.

In fact, most of what we have this year is due to Alex. The decorations, the cards we mailed out, the food, the Christmas tree (I might have lugged it home, but Alex make it look all pretty).

Last week, I finally started backing off in work a bit. I need to, as did the rest of my team. (I practically had to threaten them to take a break and relax for a few days. Pressure doesn’t help, and if they don’t slack off a bit, the quality of work will definitely start suffering.)

Friday night, I started to relax. Yesterday, Alex and I did a bit of running around for various things, notably a hard drive to reload our aging Dell computer. You can only load and unload so much software in Windows XP before you just have to bite the bullet and reload from scratch. Having a faster hard drive (and a secondary in the event of a catastrophic failure) is always a good thing.

Today we’re doing the church thing. This morning was the Sunday service. You’ll note the omission of words such as “regular” or “normal”. The fourth Advent that happens to fall right on Christmas Eve seems to get a lot more attention than normal.

Knox Presbyterian also hosts a Korean congregation that added considerably to the service. The Korean Pastor did a few parts of the service (Murdo did most of it), with the Korean Youth group performing a 30-minute multimedia pageant about how Jesus (never referred to by name, oddly enough) changed the world.

I was a little uncomfortable at first — I usually am at such things, and I don’t know why — but I eventually got into it. It wasn’t hard to convince myself that I was watching a cultural show of sorts. It was the Korean perspective on Christianity. Different than what we see in Western Christianity, but the roots are the same.

I still find it strange that Christianity has such a following with Eastern cultures. I always associate Buddhism with the East. I think there needs to be a Buddhmas, personally.

Following the lengthy service was a potluck that Alex and I hadn’t even been aware of. We tried to get tea only to find it hadn’t been made yet. So while I boiled water, Alex got food. Complete with a healthy dose of Korean. The more traditional aspect of the Knox congregation obviously had some difficulty with some of the food (kimchee and nori, to be specific). Alex commented that she should have given me all the things she didn’t recognize.

We’ve spent the afternoon at home lazing around. I reinstalled the toilet downstairs and finished enough reconfiguration of the the computer that Alex can at least check her email again reliably.

We’re preparing for the second two (yes, two) services tonight. The first is the pageant for Knox at 18:00, then the carols at 22:00. Somewhere in all this, Alex and I will find time to eat and be merry, I presume.

Oh, crap… I just remembered that I need to make the mom saver for tomorrow morning. I should get on that…