Chronicles in Ordinary Time 42: Christmas and Grinches

Christmas graphicA Christmas graphic I designed several years ago, but hadn’t finished. I see now that it still isn’t finished; the proportions are wrong. But it’s closer.

I’ve been The Grinch at Christmas for the last several years. Our kids are out on their own. My Mom died this night, 9 years ago; I don’t know how much that has to do with the malady. The Mom I grew up with, and then finally ‘met’ several years after my Dad died, had started dying not long after she was able to begin blossoming. Dementia started dismantling the surprising woman I discovered, after ‘romance’ had entered her life, as she approached the age of 70. By the beginning of her last year, the year she lived with us, she was sort of back in her teen years. Being ‘a teenager’ she wasn’t married, and from her culture, could not possibly have a son. Having gone grey in my 40’s, Mom had the feeling that I was her father… mirrors probably didn’t make much sense to her.

In that I’m aware that Mom died on Christmas Eve of 2004, there is probably some level of subconscious grief associated with Christmas. In that I know she is at peace and joy with her Creator, I’m not aware of being haunted by her death. That was the last time we had a tree and decorations; they were mostly a lot of bother…

As our culture heads further down the road of materialism, and further away from the teaching of Jesus, the anger I have toward my society probably plays a bigger part in my dislike of American Christmas in the 21st Century. Having been raised with Santa Claus as the focus of Christmas [yeah, I’d heard about ‘baby Jesus’ and the manger…], I looked forward to my First Christmas, my 4th year of college. And I met Jesus there, in an unexpected place. I went to a Gospel service, having been invited there by an African American woman I met at the bus stop; having missed my intended bus. As the second hour of the service was well underway, and it didn’t appear to be stopping any time soon, I finally left, having had more Christmas than I could handle.

We did “Christmas” as the kids grew, and I delighted in their wonder. I told them about Jesus, and I told them about St. Nicholas, who many called Santa Claus. And I still remember the two strange parallel lines in the cement covering of our asphalt driveway, and small oblongs amidst the lines. Not unlike the tracks that might have been left by “a sleigh and 8 tiny reindeer…” Seriously. I did not put them there. “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio…

I believe that we are supposed to keep Christmas, the miracle of the Infinite and Eternal Creator’s entering into Time and Space, in our lives all the time. Not just a few weeks out of the year. I haven’t been doing that very well, lately. For several latelys…

The house is a mess. We seem to have an aversion to flat spaces; consequently, we cover them with stuff. We always have. Since we have become a storage facility for stuff owned by friends/family, it hasn’t gotten better. For the year Mom was with us, it was clean. It wasn’t, within a few months of her Home-going. Business as usual.
“Business as usual” is one excuse I could use, but like all excuses, they are like armpits. We all have two of them, and they both stink. I’ve been spending a lot of time looking for work, since there hasn’t been much of it coming my way lately. A lot of the time that I have been working hasn’t been for pay, apparently, although that wasn’t my understanding at the time. That’s one excuse for a lack of gift-buying. We don’t have any excess for anything beyond groceries and bills, most of the time. We’re in the process of packing stuff to send to Colorado, including stuff of ours that we aren’t going to use anymore, and might as well give to another generation. ‘In the process’ also means ‘in the middle of the floor’ since ‘packing space’ is now filled with other people’s stuff…

Tonight we were on the way to church for our Christmas Eve service–a planned, but forgotten [‘today is Christmas Eve?] interruption of my excuse for not working on packing.
Yesterday was a colonoscopy–a totally delightful experience, if one has never had it done before. The procedure is a breeze–I slept through it; it’s the gallon of garbage one has to drink in order to eliminate the other garbage. And now, my damaged taste buds are offended by the chemicals. Coffee once again tastes like burnt water. It tasted great on Saturday.
Back to our 10 minute drive to church: 4/5 of our way there, we passed a car with flashers and an open hood. Me, being me, I was willing to assume that they had a cell phone and that help was on the way. Judy, being Judy, did not agree with that decision.  Me, being me, let her drop me off at church while she went back to check on the stranded motorist. What was the Message tonight about? About “my will be done…” from a current ‘#6 on the charts’ song. Not the Creator’s Kingdom come; instead, my stingy, self-serving kingdom.
So I realized that I had made the poorer choice. Having watched a lot of cop shows in recent years, I couldn’t help but wonder how I would explain my decision if the stuff that happens on cop shows happened tonight–why did I ever let her go by herself? Because I wanted to get to church and hear about Jesus and the love and joy He brought to earth…
Fortunately, the stuff that happens on cop shows didn’t happen; Judy came back and got help for the stranded motorist from Trustees of the congregation. Even better, I know that the Creator knew, from the beginning of Creation, that I’d make the wrong decision tonight; and loves me anyway.

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2 Responses to “Chronicles in Ordinary Time 42: Christmas and Grinches”

  1. Patricia Hunt Says:

    lovely, its lovely! very symmetrical looking to me, i like it


  2. sf Says:

    Reblogged this on untitled press and commented:
    Heartwarming and real on so many levels.


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