November 20, 2012

Holiday and Holy Day Plans

It's a crazy time of year, isn't it?  This past weekend we were privileged enough to have some dear Baha'is visit our little community form out of town.  They served with us at the Loaves and Fishes community lunch at the First Presbyterian Church, visited friends in their homes, attended a community dinner and devotion at our house, and led a deepening at another friend's house the following day.  It was a busy Baha'i weekend!

Sunday night, Joe spoke at the Cache Community Connections interfaith Thanksgiving event at the tabernacle.  It was his first time publicly speaking as a Baha'i, and he did such a great job!  I have always found that to be an intimidating event to speak at because you're up in front a crowd, couched between ministers and priests and people in garb and collars.  Everyone else up there, with the exception of Sean Bliss, the Buddhist meditation guy who is always so relaxing to listen to, has been trained to speak to the masses about God.  And there you sit all average and Baha'i and in your regular clothes with no collar or credentials.  Joe opened the program and said, "Oh look, Father So and So, Bishop Such and Such...Joe....Pastor So and So."  But he was so great.  My face hurt from smiling so big and I suddenly felt aware that all of the Baha'is in attendance were probably noticing me beaming as I was watching him and I got all red faced and tried to look like it was no big deal that my husband, now part of the faith, was up there being all official about it in public.  I was so proud!!!

Yesterday my Granny arrived from Nashville to spend Thanksgiving with us.  She's getting up there in years and it's always a little shocking that she actually gets here in one piece.  She's legally blind now and so I called the airlines to ask them to walk her from her plane to her shuttle, but they said that letting me  make those arrangements without her confirmation number (which she couldn't see well enough to read to me, even with her magnifying glass) would be a direct violation of her personal privacy.  Seriously?  I can't figure how asking for no information from them at all, and giving them her name, address, and flight times while asking them to help her find her way to the shuttle without wandering into a men's room or restricted area is breaching her security.  But I suppose we've all heard those stories about criminals asking airlines to help elderly blind women and then making off with their souls.  Better to be safe than sorry, I guess.

Since it is just going to be our normal family plus 1, I wasn't planning on making a huge feast for Thanksgiving.  But Granny wants the whole shebang, and so she shall have it.  Who knows how many Thanksgivings she has left?  She sat at the table this morning dictating a shopping list longer than Methuselah's beard and handed me her credit card in case her blood pressure is still low when we go shopping and she isn't able to come pay for her share.  So now we're planning an all out extravaganza!

A couple of days after Thanksgiving, our family is hosting the Day of the Covenant in our home.  This is kind of a special holy day for me because it is one that I have hosted every single year since becoming a Baha'i.  Back in Eugene, sweet Vida invited me, the poor new Baha'i who probably didn't know a thing about the holy day, to host it with her and another friend at the center.  I learned so much that year and I think of Vida's kindness every year as I host it again.  I don't know how it always happens that a month or so before the holy day I get a call from the Local Spiritual Assembly during their meeting asking if we're available to host it, but it always happens.  Other holy days we may host once in a while, but this one always comes to us.  It's kind of funny.  We're probably going to be disappointed when a year comes that someone else hosts it.   Or maybe, unbeknownst to me, there is a holy day list and we all have assignments and I just haven't noticed anyone's but mine yet.

So we're making plans and preparations for the holy day as we prepare for Thanksgiving.  My Granny will be here with us for the day of the Covenant this year, so it's even more special.  I have gotten down the banner that I painted with Liz the year before she moved out of town, and have designed new cupcake toppers.  We're going with a sort of theme this year and reading what Abdul Baha wrote about poetry, reading poetry written to him and about him.

Then, after eating and having that devotional time, we're bringing back the Day of the Covenant trivia challenge.  We did this last year and I came up with a variety of obscure questions about the holy day and the guests went head to head  in teams to try and answer them.  It was fun, but we had low attendance last year on account of holiday travels, so I'm going to bring it back this year since we'll have more people and it's a fun way to learn about the day and about Abdul Baha.

So, we're busy, busy getting ready for all the fun!  Hopefully we'll get to some holiday and holy day crafts later on today.  If so, I'll try and share those tomorrow!  Happy holidays and holy days, friends!

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