Christmas Season ended on Monday January 9th with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. When you come into the church for the first time during Christmas Season it is always a memorable moment as you enjoy the wonderful trees and decorations. Here’s a “behind-the-scenes” look at what it takes to get there and back again!
This year our Christmas decorations were more extensive than past years and really was incredibly beautiful! Our Advent wreath was transformed into a Christmas wreath by Carol. We had 5 ten foot trees plus 3 smaller trees for in front of the stained glass window and our beautiful nativity scene nestled in front of our mini “forest”. There were 8 dozen poinsettias and we also enjoyed festive Christmas lights on the trees around the church near our parking lot. It took over 50 man hours to set this up and over an hour each day to maintain it all with daily watering.
It all started with a truck delivering our trees a few weeks before Christmas. They laid bundled up in the back yard of the rectory. The trees were huge and did not fit in the largest stands we could find! After some “touch up work” with a chain saw, the trees were upright, carried into the church. Carol Bruce led the set up crew and Kathleen led the clean up crew. Setting up, we were blessed with the help from Mary-Clare’s brother and sister came to help along with Alan Smirni, Pam, Lauren and Julia Lugos and Milton. Once the trees were up we realized that we needed even more trees! Kathleen went bargain hunting on the morning of the 24th, as the tree vendors were laying out their last “Charlie Brown trees”…. and found more trees to finish it off. Any tree starts to look great if you have enough lights on it…. 😉
Each figure for our nativity scene is packed in its original box and needs to be unpacked and carried up to the sanctuary. Carol bought the hay, the scene was set! The chimers helped Kathleen unpack and check the 104 poinsettias before their chime rehearsal! It took Kathleen a full day of trips to the florist and back to bring in our poinsettias and buy Christmas lights.
Thanks to a sale at OSH, Kathleen found a number of colored lights for outside decorating. Carol went over and stocked up on the white lights for the trees. With the help of a ladder, her dog Toby and Anne Crowley, Kathleen transformed the shrubbery around the church, by the parking lot, into a festive site of colored lights!
An extremely kind and generous donor, a parishioner from our 8:30 am Mass, donated the funds for all of this including the tree for the priest residence. We were all the recipients of this blessing as we enjoyed the ambiance that was set for the celebration of the Nativity of our Lord.
….Then the clean up time comes and everyone knows about this part of the holidays! Thanks to 9 awesome volunteers, the clean up of our church was done in only a few hours. Fr. Phong announced/asked/pleaded/prayed for helpers and our prayers were answered!! The group in the photo below returned the church to “Ordinary Time”! Thank you for your wonderful hard work. We could not have done it without you! It takes a village and we have a special one here at Res! Thank you to everyone!
(Above) Clean up crew! Donna Wu (took the picture), Aileen Kandel, Al Chanteloup, Jim Shattock, John Rupf, Don Malatesta, Richard Railton, Christine Hou, Monica Wong, Michael Wong O’Connell along with Kathleen Faust and Fr. Phong Nguyen.
(Below) Kathleen with the help of her rowing friend Russ sawed the trees into small pieces and carried them out to the curb for recycling.