Last night we went on a hay ride around our small town, singing Christmas carols as we went. A friend of ours hooked up a trailer behind his truck, put some hay bales on it, strung some Christmas lights, set up his stereo on the trailer and came into town to pick everyone up at the Church.
It was really neat to see how many turned out for this event ... the trailer was full, bells and tambourines were passed out, blankets were put on the kids (and some of the adults - I brought a hot water bottle with me, lol) and off we went. As we were driving around town, we would call out "Merry Christmas" to anyone that we passed, people (that were in their vehicles) would honk their horns and wave at us. I think the funniest part of the evening was when we were passed by a gentleman out for his evening jog ..... as he was going by the trailer, I commented to him "either you're running really fast, or we're going really slow", to which he replied "you're going really slow" and then he gave a burst of speed and passed both the trailer and truck, lol.
After we had made a couple passes through the town, we headed back to the Church for a time of fellowship .... this gave the adults a chance to visit, while they warmed up, and the kids a chance to go and burn off some energy outside (they had been sitting or about an hour, lol). Many families brought some treats to go with our hot chocolate, hot apple cider or coffee - lots of traditional holiday baking was to be had (butter tarts, shortbread, etc.) and some regular type baking like chocolate chip cookies (which the kids dove right into, lol). Only one thing was a cause for concern, one of the gentleman ended up not feeling well (we were told he had food poisoning), but even this was a positive as we were all able to witness the caring and generosity among this family of believers ..... everyone was asking to see how they could help, vehicles were offered (in case this particular family had no vehicle with them to take their loved one home - the owners of the vehicles said that they would pick the vehicle up at a later time).
As the evening drew to a close, everything was cleaned up, "Merry Christmas" was called out to everyone, hugs were given (there are a lot of really good huggers at our Church, lol) and everyone was asking when they would get to see each other again. Definitely a great evening ...... and from what I hear, there is already talk of doing it again next year. ˚Ü˚