It was nearly 10PM Christmas Eve and we were on our way to St. Mary's church. There was to be an hour long performance by our church choir at 10, followed by Mass. There had been some mention on television earlier in the day that we might have snow this Christmas. While driving to church, I told my wife and 5 year old son that it was highly unlikely. It rarely snows in this part of north Georgia and I had never experienced a white Christmas.
When my son awoke Christmas morning, he found that he had gotten "everything he wanted" - a refill package of foam "bullets" for the toy gun someone had given him for his birthday, battle armor and other accessories for his battery powered hamsters and a white Christmas.
We later heard on the news that this is the first white Christmas the area has received since the 1800's. Granted, to some of my readers (like those in Michigan or Iowa) this snow would hardly be worth mentioning, but this is Rome, Georgia. This is a big deal for us.
There was still snow on the ground as we left for Mass Sunday morning, but there wasn't any ice on our street. The street we live on gets very little traffic - I knew that if it was OK to drive here, then Shorter Avenue (the main road between here and the church) would be perfectly fine. Had there been any ice to speak of on Shorter, it would have already been taken care of.
St. Mary's Catholic church is less than ten minutes away from our house. On the way to St. Mary's, we'll pass quite an assortment of Protestant churches; Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian. I couldn't resist telling my wife that it would appear that these denominations evidently don't believe in following the Ten Commandments, particularly the one that says we must remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. None of the Protestant churches we passed were having services this Sunday. The 2 inches of snow had been too frightening for them.
In fairness, I must say that the 11:00 AM Mass wasn't as full as it normally is, but we did have Mass at all the regularly scheduled times.
Seeing the closed Protestant churches reminded me of Christmas, 2005 which happened to fall on a Sunday that year. It had been announced in the local paper that many of the Protestant churches would not be having services that Sunday because it was Christmas day and the pastors assumed that many in their congregations would want to spend Christmas morning at home with their families. Christmas day, 2011 will also fall on a Sunday. I'll be looking to see how many, so-called, Christian churches in our area will close that day. You can be certain that St. Mary's will be open.