Waiting for Christmas!
As a child growing up in Unionville, PA, I remember Christmas “waiting” with my 5 siblings as a time that took way too long and might never get here. But mom and dad were poor and they made it a time for Santa wishes, stockings (real, not fancy ones) hanging by the fireplace, a nicely lit and decorated tree, visits to and from family, and a special occasion in many ways. They loved us, and Christmas day included the opening of a couple of gifts, retrieving the orange, nuts and candy from our stockings, and a special dinner.
I lived with my parents in the village until I graduated from Goldey Beacom College in 1954, at which time l moved to Washington, D.C. and worked for the FBI for two years and decided to follow my sister, Ruth, back to Unionville. I attended Unionville Presbyterian (one that was within walking distance from my home) until 1960. I was baptized, became a member, and still never experienced Advent.
In 1960 I married George Ulary, moved to North East, where I had spent long summers at Red Point Beach in my family’s cottage, and became a member (where I was married) of Harts Methodist Church. George had been a member of this church since being carried to services on a pillow as a baby. We attended with our three girls until the Hills moved in as neighbors and Father Shand became the priest at St. Mary Anne’s. We enjoyed amazing adult Bible lessons from Emma Wood, Ethel Leverdge, and Florence Ulary, but still no Advent. We began letting our three girls go to youth group meetings with our neighbor, Melissa Hill, after her confirmation with Father Shand. All three baptized and confirmed as Episcopalians. We took turns attending church as a family, sometimes one of us would go to SMA — mostly me!
I became an Episcopalian in 1982 and was introduced to the season of Advent. Thanks be to God!
I found my Christian family and home. Christmas Eve service was smells, bells, and all the pomp worthy of a birthday celebrating a king. It was awesome! The waiting was worth the best gift everyone should have. God lit up my life when he sent the Lord Jesus Christ to me. It is the only hope for each of us, and it is the only gift I wish for you all! No more waiting is necessary! Merry Christmas!