1. Do you think you will have a white Christmas this year?
I doubt it; I honestly can't remember ever having a white Christmas on Long Island. There may have been one time in the ‘80s, but I'm not sure. And lately, it's been warm and rainy around here. On the other hand, we did get a light dusting of snow about a week ago and the temperatures have been bouncing up and down, so anything is possible.
2. Do you usually go to Christmas service at your church or a Christmas program/musical?
We always go to church. We used to go on Christmas morning, but the last 5 or 10 years we've been going to midnight mass. We usually decorate the tree if we haven't already, or put the finishing touches on it if we have done some decorating, then I grab a nap before driving my folks up to church. My dad is a stickler for punctuality, which is why for the majority of the year he goes to a 7:30 AM Sunday mass on his own, which he arrives for at 7 AM, because that's the time it used to be, the time he thinks it still should be. So for midnight mass, he usually starts dropping “hints” around 8 PM about his concerns that my mom and I will be ready on time. The miraculous thing is, no matter how much bickering may arise before mass, by the time we've exchanged the sign of peace, petty arguments are forgotten, and by the time we're driving home we're a family again.
3. Do you usually gather the family around and read the Gospel account about the birth of Christ?
The lectors in church do such a good job, that it would probably be redundant. Sadly, sometimes it seems like bible readings are confined to the four walls of the church, rarely to be referenced outside of mass and other religious ceremonies. My parents did a good job with my religious education, and I took classes once a week after school growing up. They sent me to a private Catholic high school, as much for my own safety and discipline as for my religious education. But as an adult, with daily responsibilities at work and not being exposed outside of at least that one hour a week, the distractions of this world flood in to fill the gap. It may be something I need to work on, certainly if I ever have children of my own. My parents would often ask me questions about what I was learning, and I got the sense that through my education they were renewing and refreshing their own beliefs as well. I think that's probably true of any academic pursuit, and I'm sure I'll devote more attention to math, chemistry, and other subjects when I have to help kids with their homework.