Greening a church, Christmas Eve, Christmas and how a runner and triathlete look all cleaned up

Christmas is here.
Christmas came and was a very good time.  I love the preparation and waiting time of the Advent season!

Molly and Maggie came to stay with us when school got out.  I wasn't going to be a long stay because the time leading up to Christmas was shorter than usual.  On Thursday, we stayed home most of the day.  Molly worked on decorating a box for her boyfriend's gift, Maggie worked on a foam Santa house and Gloria worked on a gingerbread house.  For dinner we made a beef roast, OUR FIRST EVER.  It was delicious!
St. Peter's Episcopal Church with garland hung by Molly and me.
Friday was greening the church day for Molly, Maggie, Gloria, and me.  We knew it would entail decorating the St. Peter's Episcopal Church for the Christmas Eve services.  In the Episcopal church, this isn't done earlier because it is Advent, the time of preparation for Christmas.  Well, we go to church and were immediately put to work.  Maggie and Gloria cleaned all the pews.  There are a lot of pews!
Gloria and Maggie cleaning pews while Molly waits for me.
Molly and I got a messy, pine-smelly job.  We hung garland all around outside:  the fence and the stair railings.  If I had to guess, it was several hundred feet of garland.  We did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself.  I knew we had done well when Todd Murphy said the first railing we did looked, "FANTASTIC!"  Todd is a well-known event decorator in Charlotte and a church member. He decorated our wedding and reception four years ago!  You can see some of our work in the church picture above.

Where was Merrill?  She took Cookie, our dog, to get a "buff and polish."  Translation:  bath and trim.  Then Merrill did some last minute preparations for our family Christmas.
A very fluffy Cookie.
Christmas Eve can be understood with two pictures.  After we enjoyed our traditional dinner at Shun Lee Palace (Chinese food), we drove to church for a service at 7:00 p.m.
A runner (left) and a triathlete (right) cleaned up and looking fancy.
Maggie, Molly and Gloria looking beautiful!

Christmas can very easily be visualized in the best two pictures.  I love what I got and I'm pretty sure Merrill absolutely loves her present.
MOTIVATION for IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta.
Merrill looking for delicious recipes.
The rest of Christmas Day was very relaxing.  Later in the afternoon, we packed to drive to Memphis for a visit with Merrill's mom and dad.

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