Ananda Family News

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Post-Christmas Roundup

The final lap of our annual Christmas marathon began with our all-day meditation on Saturday the 21st. Some additions to the altar this year were some items of Swamiji’s — a shirt and a pair of slippers that he wore in the last days of his life. These were in the right-hand niche, where they will later have a more permanent installation, and they were the source of much inspiration and devotion for everyone gathered there. More photos of the day are here.

Our caroling expedition around the neighborhood the following evening was a delight, as usual. This year we even absorbed a few neighbors into the group as we made our way around the Monroe loop. These included three small children with plastic trumpets, who provided an enthusiastic fanfare for the end of each carol.

Our Christmas Eve service came next in the ever-alternating Christmas dance of inward and outward energies. This beautifully devotional evening comes across well in the photos, but to fully appreciate them requires a vivid imagining of the exquisite music by a small ensemble and several soloists.

And then finally, Christmas Day. The family service was a glorious pageant full of angels, shepherds and kings of all sizes, and we got it filmed this year, so you can watch the entire thing here. And if you enjoy the photos, you can even peek backstage for the costuming and some outtakes.

The Christmas banquet had more tables full of people than we had days of Christmas, so we had to double up on the seven swans a-swimming and a few others just to get through the song. The entertainment also included a brand-new play, written by Marilyn and involving 12 actors, a director, a pianist, a sound technician, and the baby Jesus. It was quite a production! (Cliff's notes version: Santa and baby Jesus do indeed manage to share some Christmas cheer with a number of folks who very much needed it. Two thumbs up!) And, as a final number inspiring us all to help clean up, the three wise men were paid a return visit by a king of a different sort. (Okay, so we didn’t look remotely like Elvis, but we did our best.)

Merry Christmas to all!

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