~ Christmas lights on the fly ~
A couple of miles away, are three or four houses decked, and I mean decked, for the holidays. I'm not sure they could get even a candy cane amongst what they already have in their yards and on their houses. For decades, Richmond has been know for their "tacky lights" and "tacky lights tours". It's become a holiday tradition and buses sell out in hours and cars stream along behind the buses, filled with folks who weren't able to buy a seat on the bus. There are even people hiring limousines and radio stations doing tours to make money for charity... I'm telling you, it's wild! Matt Burgess, designer of the Tacky Lights website, grew up in Richmond and has fond memories of his family driving around to see which houses had the wackiest decorations. Now, his website pinpoints, by zip code, which neighborhoods around the nation, have the craziest decorations.
All that to say, the above photo was taken as I was
Yesterday, Dave and I had lunch at the Jefferson Hotel. It's a lovely old property with loads of vintage appeal and they decorate beautifully at Christmas.
~ Christmas tree @ the Jefferson Hotel ~The reason I wanted to go to the Jefferson, however, wasn't because of their beautiful decorations; it's because of Offering. They are a group of musicians who play some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard. The first time I heard them was at Positive Vibe Cafe and they blew me away. Within seconds of hearing their first song, I could feel myself relaxing, becoming calmer and more peaceful.
~ Offering Band ~For more than a decade, this non-profit band has been supporting various other non-profits by playing their brand of grace, peace and love. They play at MCV's Hospitality House, Positive Vibe Cafe, many churches and for venues they believe to be honoring through service. This Christmas season they are supporting Meals on Wheels through Central Virginia Foodbank.
Positive Vibe Cafe has been training folks with disabilities for more than a decade. They rotate Richmond chefs who train young folks in the ways of a superb kitchen and they turn out some of the best food I've ever eaten. If you're ever in Richmond, make sure to eat there; everyone will benefit, including you, especially if Offering is playing.
On their blog, Jeanine Guidry recently posted something that grabbed my heart. She talked about "the ministry of showing up." I wonder how many of us have missed a blessing because we didn't show up? We were too busy or too tired or had an already over booked calendar or other reasons, a host of other reasons. How many of us have wonderful memories because we did show up? "Obedience is better than sacrifice" is what the Good Book tells us; if I ever get a tattoo...NOT likely!...that would be the one...
"Obedience is better than sacrifice."
Blessings ~ another Christmas Eve together ~ Offering ~ Christmas lights and decorations ~ folks who have servant hearts and then serve ~