Christmas in the Carolinas

Brad and I spent last week in North Carolina with my family. There were more of us gathered together than there had been in a long time and it was great seeing everyone.

I even survived the way Christianity is thicker in the air there.

The only stumbling block was going to Christmas Eve service.

Usually I don’t go. Since my grandmother died there hasn’t been any pressure to go to church for Christmas. However, both Brad and my cousin-in-law Erika had not yet experienced the very special and unique service that happens in North Carolina: the Moravian Love Feast. It seemed worth going so that they could know what that was about.

Moravians are people who settled in America during its early colonization and they have a unique slant of Protestant. There are still large pockets of them in eastern North Carolina. I don’t know where else they are, but that’s the only place I’ve seen them. My grandmother used to work as a tour guide to an old Moravian village. There are special cookies (We went and picked up some famous handmade ones and got our picture on the Facebook wall of Mrs. Hanes’ Cookies!), there is a special star that you’ll see hanging at nearly every home in N.C., and there’s a Christmas service involving a brass band and the serving of coffee and buns DURING the service!

Naturally there was plenty of talk about Jesus Christ being the light of the world and all that. It made the vein in my forehead pop, but I kept it together since I knew I had come to their place of worship and had to be respectful of that (also not wanting to embarrass my family in any way).

But then the minister said that all the money raised during Christmas Eve service was going towards their causes, including funding missionary work in a new location: India!

Then I was truly angry. They certainly didn’t get any money from Brad and I.

So that was enough Christianity to last me about five years.

 

About Ambaa

Ambaa is an American woman of European ancestry who is also a practicing Hindu. She is fascinated with questions of philosophy, culture, and the meaning of life. Join her in the journey to explore how a non-Indian convert to Hinduism experiences her religion.

  • Agni Ashwin

    Wow. So you’re ancestors were Moravians?

    • Ambaa

      No, not at all. There are just large populations there and it’s part of the culture of the area.


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