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For Christmas Eve, the First Mate and I invited a friend of ours over whose family went out of town for the holidays, for dinner and a late Mass at Saint Peter's in Mendota. After a tasty turkey-and-stuffing dinner and some great conversation, we all trekked to Minnesota's oldest Catholic parish for the 10:00 services. Saint Peter's still has its original structure, but it is no longer in use for anything but special ceremonies. It doesn't seat more than 100 people, and that might be pushing it. For a long time, the congregation met in the office building, where they had built a small and humble church. Over the last few years, though, the parish has raised enough funds to build a brand-new church, which opened either late last year or early in 2006. Thanks to cell-phone technology, I snuck a picture of the Cross and the beautiful internal architecture:
It's not our assigned parish, but we live between the Saint Peter's and Saint John Neumann parishes, and attend Mass at both. If you get to Minnesota and are looking for a nice Catholic church, both are wonderful choices.
Okay -- now that we've addressed the spiritual, what did Santa bring you this Christmas? I remember when I was a kid, half the fun of Christmas was calling your friends and comparing notes on all of the great gifts we got. Leave a note in the comments with your favorite gifts (or the whole list, if you like). However, you also have to tell which gift you gave was your favorite, because as we all discover at this time of year, it really is more fun to give than to receive.
My favorite gift to give: I gave the FM a set of emerald earrings to go with a ring I bought her last year for Christmas.
Gifts I got: I had an excellent Christmas, but this year my best gift was the FM's presence; there were points this year where that looked a little iffy. All right, all right, now here are a few of the kind we unwrapped. My mother (Vayapaso around here) sent us a set of gorgeous hand-made linen napkins with the 12 Days of Christmas theme, to go with a set of dishes she bought us for our first Christmas together. The FM bought me an Air Desk, which allows me to have my laptop anywhere in the house, and I'm using it now. My sister sent two Pittsburgh Steelers jerseys, one home (Hines Ward) and one away (Ben Roethlisberger). My father, the Admiral Emeritus, and his wife sent a hefty gift card and a fun Notre Dame shirt that I'll have to model for you sometime soon.
We're about to head over to see our son, daughter-in-law, and the Little Admiral. We have to pack all the gifts in the car, and we're discovering that we really overdid it this year. I'll be getting video and pictures and having a blast, and I hope your Christmas turns out just as merry as ours.Sphere It View blog reactions
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