Favorite Christmas traditions


Continuing the discussion from What Are Your Favorite Christmas Traditions?:

I think that New York City is so beautiful and festive at Christmastime!

Here’s the Cartier building on 5th Avenue, decorated like a present:

Here’s part of the Origami Tree from the American Museum of Natural History. Every year it’s decorated with hundreds of origami figures all based on a particular theme. The theme for this year was the special exhibit “Unseen Oceans”

And here’s some detail of the foot of the tree:

(Randy) #2

My wife and family would love those things. We are country people mostly, but it is so fun to visit a beautiful city from time to time.


How old are your children? We could all visit the churches and museums (The apostles and fossils tour). I live in Connecticut but take the train into the city almost every week.

(Randy) #4

Thank you! I think that would be fun sometime. They are 10, 8 and 5. (I am blessed in my older age–I expect to walk my daughter up the aisle with a wheelchair as I was 42 when my youngest was born). They would love the natural history museums and I would like the churches. I don’t think we can do it this year as we have a meeting with my sister’s family from North Carolina planned, but my wife always talks about the old churches she saw in England. We enjoyed Boston about 7 years ago. I enjoy your pictures, though.

(Phil) #5

Randy, at 65 I not ready for a wheelchair yet, so you should be able to shuffle down the aisle.

(Mark D.) #6

I’m the same age as @JPM and I too have good news. But if you’re a workaholic now as I was when I was teaching you may have to change some habits. When I was teaching the only exercise I got was the occasional long walk with the dogs. Now I consider getting to the Y to be my regular job.

I’ll bet as a doctor you are more aware of what is healthful than I was but I had packed on at least 50 extra pounds by the time I retired, most of which has been shed for the last couple of years. But I know what a conscientious guy you are and if that leads you to short change your own needs I hope you will begin sooner rather than later to heal thyself. We all have grown fond of you and would very selfishly prefer to keep you around.

(Randy) #7

Thanks for your kind words, @markd . I appreciate your presence too! @jpm thanks for the reminder!
Christmas program at my church today!


Ok, we’ll wait a few years. I love to play the tour guide. There are so many great places to visit-- NY Botanical Garden , Metropolitan Museum of Art , The Cloisters , Lincoln Center, and much more. I’ll probably wear you guys out.

Advent is the best season to visit. Not summer, because the choir school is not in session and there are too many huge parades to dodge.


The boys of the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys will be performing live on the Today Show, on the morning of Friday December 21. Please tune in for some Christmas cheer.

I won’t be able to watch it on TV, but hopefully it will be streamed. (But I hear them sing live every Sunday, anyway.)

About choir school

And if you know a little boy who loves to sing, why not encourage him to ask his parents about auditioning?


One of the my favorite traditions is all the great choral liturgies sung at this time of year: the Advent Processional, the Great Litany, and the service of Lesson and Carols. And Christmastide end in the Epiphany Processional.

Here’s an article on how Bishop Edward White Benson and Truro Cathedral created the beloved Service of Lessons and Carols back in the 1800s.

In a few hours I’ll be going to church in Manhattan to hear our own service of lessons and carols.

The bidding prayer:

Beloved in Christ, be it this Christmastide our care and delight to hear again the message of the angels, and
in heart and mind to go even unto Bethlehem and see this thing which is come to pass, and the Babe
lying in a manger.
Therefore let us read and mark in Holy Scripture the tale of the loving purposes of God from the first days of
our disobedience unto the glorious Redemption brought us by this Holy Child.
But first, let us pray for the needs of the whole world; for peace on earth and goodwill among all his people;
for unity and brotherhood within the Church he came to build, and especially in this city and diocese of New
And because this of all things would rejoice his heart, let us remember, in his name, the poor and helpless, the
cold, the hungry, and the oppressed; the sick and them that mourn, the lonely and the unloved, the aged and
the little children; all those who know not the Lord Jesus, or who love him not, or who by sin have grieved
his heart of love.
Lastly, let us remember before God all those who rejoice with us, but upon another shore, and in a greater
light, that multitude which no man can number, whose hope was in the Word made flesh, and with whom in
the Lord Jesus we are for ever one.
These prayers and praises let us humbly offer up to the Throne of Heaven, in the words which Christ himself
hath taught us…


Dec. 23, 2018. A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. (Lesson simply means reading). Telling the story of Christmas through Scripture readings (both OT and NT) and carols. I’m in my favorite seat, in the gallery. Oh what a view! The service hasn’t started yet, but an usher made me stop taking pics.

(Randy) #12

Very beautiful! Thank you.


Thank you. The most enchanting time is when the lights are dimmed, and the candles it, and the boy chorister starts to sing, “Once in Royal David’s City”

It’s recorded on a web cast if you are interested.

(system) #14

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