Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

You can change the words, but you can't change my warmest wishes for everything good for you and those you cherish. 

With my mother's passing on the 2nd of the month, it has been rather low-key around here. My kids and grandkid are about a thousand miles away so no big get together. My brother and his family are off visiting his in-laws in the northeast. It will be just the two of us. Due to some complications, we actually exchanged gifts last weekend.

Churches, like all groups, have personalities, and in the one I attend, it would be remarkable to toss a wadded up paper ball and not hit an engineer, nurse, doctor, or a tech professional.  It's not news to this bunch that Jesus was probably born in the spring or fall rather than in the dead of winter, or that the December 25th date comes from adapting to the Roman Saturnalia or other pagan holidays; nor would they be shocked if you told them Christmas has more secular than holy traditions associated with it and many things that are totally engrained in the holiday traditions started out as advertising gimmicks. 

I've heard another explanation for why December 25th was chosen. It's close to the solstice, the longest night of the year - which made it the darkest night of the year in those days. Jesus was the light of the world, and the symbolism of bringing light when things are at their darkest fits perfectly with the story. Yes, it has become commercialized; shopping, food and football. I love it anyway. Thank the masters of Madison Avenue - propagandists, really - who have learned how to push so many people's buttons - to get us to buy things.  (Newsflash: there was no little drummer boy when the events we portray as the nativity happened - and that was probably a year after Jesus' birth.)

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more." -- Dr. Seuss

Hold close the ones you love.  If we're very lucky, this will be the worst Christmas of our lives; everything in life gets better year by year for the rest of our lives.  And if things get worse, we'll remember this as the "good old days".  Either way, hold tight.  "Before you dot another 'i' or cross another 't', Bob Cratchit!"

It's one my of my blessings that a group of really great folks stop by here to share my blather.  Thanks.
So however you mark this day, enjoy it well.  Spend time with family or friends or both.  Remember the good service members deployed far from home.  If you're LEO, or fire; EMT, Nurse or MD, and are one who must work while the rest of us rest, thank you.


  1. Thoughts and prayers. And yes, Merry Christmas to you and yours sir. And thank you for remembering those who are serving...

  2. Last week I heard an explanation somewhere that the birth of Jesus was calculated in relation to his death, and that it has nothing to do with pagan anythings. It was a fascinating and thought-provoking explanation the details of which have completely gotten lost in too much pecan pie. Pecan pie is frickin' awesome.

    1. Pecan pie is frickin' awesome. Absolutely right. Not only that, though; my wife's scratch pumpkin pies and oatmeal raisin cookies keep me gaining weight from November through just about this time every year.

      Most people say something to the effect that shepherds wouldn't be in the fields at night with sheep in the dead of winter, so that leaves spring through fall; then they work from some other events that can be pegged a bit closer in time of year and work to separate conclusions. Fall and spring both seem to be popular choices, but I have read some guys who say a birth some time in December could well be right.