When my four kids were little I used to have to stay up really late every Christmas eve. There were toys to assemble, notes from Santa to put out, almond bread to bake, and jelly beans to put into the stockings hanging above the fireplace. Some years I didn’t get to bed until 3 AM and then the excited screams would seem to come almost immediately as the kids woke up earlier than normal in their excitement to see what presents were under the tree for them. My eyes were all grainy feeling when I thumped my feet to the floor to partake in christmas morning!
With the kids now grown, and other things in my life so much different, it’s been years since I had to be up so late on Christmas eve. Then, this year, we were having brunch at home on Christmas eve and Susan, one of the neighbors, tossed out the suggestion to maybe go to midnight mass. Never have I done that. I’m not even Catholic, but the idea was appealing for the adventure of it. We even committed to come home afterwards and eat traditional tamales! Now I can always get behind eating Mexican food, I don’t care that the clock says. For some reason we targeted St. Michael’s Church in Livermore to attend. I looked it up online since I had no idea what it looks like and saw that it would definitely be worth taking the camera along.
We picked up Susan in plenty of time to drive to the church in Livermore before the crowd filled up every seat in the house. I even had enough time to take my tripod up to the balcony to get this shot of the local neighborhood orchestra warming up.