Last night we spent part of the evening at Exeter's downtown "Open House". This is an annual event on the three Thursday nights before Christmas. It's a very festive time... the stores are open late and most of them have food out for the patrons. Our Madrigal choir did some "Caroling" downtown. The local fire department was giving rides on old fire trucks for the kids, and "Santa" was there for photos with children. All in all it's a great "home town" Christmas time. But something was missing this year, the presence of a church at the downtown event. For the past several years our church had a table downtown and gave away free cocoa and Christian literature as well as little "goodies" for the kids. I wish we could have done that this year! It makes me sad. No Bibles, no books, no tracts were given out... no visible presence in the community of a church that gives freely at Christmas (because we have been given so much!) We may not have done everything right, but we did care and we did reach out. Now we care and reach out in smaller more quiet and individual ways. Maybe that's the way it's supposed to be after all? That will be our Christmas "presence" this year.