Saturday, December 06, 2008

First Friday/Saturday in December

The first Saturday in December was a big deal in Minnesota. It was Salem Covenant's Smorgasbord, where crews of Swedish food zealots wold prepare monstrous portions of herring, deviled eggs, lutefisk, meatballs, lingonberries, breads, fruit-soup, potato sausage and coffee (hundreds of gallons of coffee). Then another room was converted to nordic (and asian) craft sales and the sanctuary became a real "Prairie Home Companion" set where Swedish dressed singers would sing and a bunch of guys (and later women) formed a fun string band, and a variety of children and family performers. Over a 1,000 people came through in the late afternoon and early evening, filling the church with sounds and smells and leaving the staff and leadership totally exhausted. That's how Advent began.
The first weekend was also Christmas at Northwestern College, where Martha would design the program in consultation with our neighbor and choir director Tim Sawyer. We would attend one of the concerts and I would always weep at the glorious sounds of Northwestern College Choir.
Now in Santa Barbara the events are different, but similar. The first Friday is the great Christmas parade down State Street, little ballerinas, dog-obedience school, fire fighters (standing ovations from the crowds) schools, Young Life, drum and bugle corps, hispanic low-rider bicycle clubs (entirely decked out street bikes!) and all sorts of groups that like to parade. It's both big and innocent. We met a number of church families as we walked the street.
Then tonight we were invited to Westmont College as guests of president Bebe to meet, and greet and eat with board members and neighbors. Now in my fourth winter, it's fun getting a new routine established. The tree is up and decorated and the mantle-piece is filled with creche images and tinsel. I've now switched from potato sausage to sushi!


At 6:54 AM , Blogger Katie said...

The Smorgasbord was great! Food was awesome as always! The music filled the whole upstairs and could be heard in the fellowship hall very easily, it was wonderful! (Be thankful you are out there, it is currently 6, with an -8 windchill and we are suppose to get another 1-2 inches of snow today.)

At 7:27 AM , Blogger donnjohnson said...


At 5:03 AM , Blogger Rick said...


...OK, who are you and what have you done with Don? ; )


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