Some churches have Christmas celebrations right out of a glossy magazine, complete with colour-coordinated wreaths, candles, and garland, with a perfectly poised congregation singing "Oh Holy Night" in perfect harmony.
We, on the other hand, walked into our church on Sunday morning to find our 12-foot tree taking a nap. Oh wait, no, it had fallen over. It spilled water, smashed ornaments and shed needles ALL OVER the platform, including sound and guitar gear. We managed to get it somewhat vertical, leaning groggily against the wall, with a blob of Christmas lights shining from one part of it. It looked mildly hung over, truth be told.
We carried on our unique tradition of jingling keys as we sang, scoffing at those polished places that use real jingle bells.
As the mid-morning prayer came to an end and we all turned to sit down, one of our microphones let out the unholiest shriek you have ever heard in all your life, followed by several lesser shrieks from those that startle easily.
We were happily satisfied by the end of the day, to have had an evening candlelight service that didn't set the building on fire. Dragged our bleary-eyed tree out to the curb, hugged "Merry Christmas" to each other, and headed home.
So much for glossy decor and perfect harmony. Some churches go in for that kind of thing.
Good thing we aren't one of them.