Where could Christmas be more meaningful than at a convent? Preparations have been going on for weeks at the Sisters of St. Francis “motherhouse” in Clinton, where 96 members and their staff, family and friends ate the traditional oyster stew on Christmas Eve, after days of baking cookies and making other familiar preparations. Sally Ann McCarthy works for the nuns though she’s not a member of the order, and she says today’s sisters are active in the community, supporting local charities as well as inviting local residents to their chapel for worship and retreats. Of course, the high point of the season was last night’s Christmas Eve mass in the convent’s chapel. St. Francis, the founder of the order, was known for creating the first re-enactment of the manger scene, in a village in Italy, and the convent in Clinton has many nativity scenes on display.