The Christmas Memories, Part 4

Did you know the Wise Men were fireman?

A few years ago, at the same little church of this memory, but a couple of years afterward, we were having a candlelight Christmas Eve service with children singing, Communion, etc. When the time for Communion came, each pew, when indicated by the ushers, would procede to the front alter rail and receive the (real) bread and the grape juice. Very orderly. Very solemn.

Not this Christmas Eve.

We had a younger pastor then. He was praying up a storm over the Host and then he said it – “..and the Wise Men came from a far..”. Now normally, that’s not an unusual sentence in itself. But say it out loud, with a goodly Southern drawl – like this – “…and the Wiize Min came from ah fire…”

My best pal and I were sitting on the same pew with our herd of children. We burst into the snorting, whispered giggles, you know, the kind that make you choke and wheeze and cry BIG tears. We couldn’t even look at each other without making it worse. Another friend handed us a couple of tissues. We couldn’t stop. When it was time to go forward, we were still heaving with giggles. My husband, handing out bread, looked at me like “What in blazes is going on back there?” I couldn’t eat the bread. I was afraid to drink any grape juice for fear of it coming out of my nose. So I took a tiny sip and took my chuck of bread back to the pew with me. We got back to the pew with no incident, breathed a big sigh of relief that we’d not be nabbed by the old ladies, but when I showed her my wad of dough, off we went again.

My oldest, by then just old enough to be mortified by her way-uncool mother, pointed her menacing finger at us and wailingly whispered “MMMAAAHMM, Shut Up!”.

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