Christmas with the Presbyterians

I’m in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, a former Bohemian artist’s colony in its heyday, now home to the Blue Dog painter, pricey coast real estate, and snooty laws that forbid business owners to erect signs over a certain size or transgress good taste in color and proportions. My half-sister lives here with her husband and family. Attended a church service last night at the Carmel Presbyterian Church, a Christmas play with the local kids. My grand niece was the star.

I’m in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, a former Bohemian artist’s colony in its heyday, now home to the Blue Dog painter, pricey coast real estate, and snooty laws that forbid business owners to erect signs over a certain size or transgress good taste in color and proportions. My half-sister lives here with her husband and family. Attended a church service last night at the Carmel Presbyterian Church, a Christmas play with the local kids. My grand niece was the star. I haven’t seen that many white people gathered in one place since my trip to England in ‘77. Held candles aloft during Silent Night. It’s not lost on these folks that Christmas exists to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Of course, when the barely-out-of-his diapers pastor squeekily intoned: “And from the depths of darkness we shall rise…”, I wondered how deep the darkness could possibly get for most of the well-heeled crowd (my own form of reverse snootiness). At least at 12-step meetings, a form of church, you can feel it.


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