The candlelight ceremony from eleven to just after midnight on Christmas Eve/Morning was a little on the trippy side, for I had hit the forty hour mark, and my eyes were beginning to glaze over. I gamely held onto both balance and my candle, all the while feeling that the minister looked especially eerie, with the small flame raised above his head and his gray robe billowing about him. I believe the reason we are compelled to stand during certain parts of the worship process is because otherwise everyone would fall asleep. Despite the uncomfortably straight pews (why does every religious institution insist on such painful seating? Possibly for the same purpose), the thought of snoozing off was certainly very tempting ... but I managed to rise for each hymn and even squeaked out a few notes. After all, my former voice coach was leading the congregation and I had to show my support ... and also demonstrate that I hadn't forgotten everything in the years since I left his tutelage!
Here is one of the exceptionally rotund squirrels who frequent my parents' property.