Now, I may have gotten a couple of important holiday proverbs incorrectly mashed together. But I have a good excuse – I’m a confused guy these chilly December days. First of all, I thought the national election was held back on November 6th. But every time I turn on the news channel or surf the web I see folks on the campaign trail. Making speeches, shaking hands, kissing babies, asking for donations – asking babies for donations. It seems similar to the likes of the sorry Japanese soldiers stranded on isolated South Pacific islands at the end of WWII who, long after VJ day, are carrying on their assumed duties, manning the battlements, searching the horizon for the enemy planes to shoot out of the sky. After 4 years of war they know nothing of peace, only the call to duty. The post-war years go by and the world moves on, as it must. But not so for His Emperor’s finest.
I also get
confused in December by the run up to Christmas. Why did our Christian faith
leaders ever think it was a good idea to co-op Winter Solstice for such an
important church celebration day? There’s not much going on in late January –
they should have carved out that block of time instead. I’m afraid they well
underestimated the power of the wallet (or back then, the “purse”) to captivate
human attention and year-after-year to gain new ground in the quest to swamp
all else. Camping outside days on end to buy the latest toy or electronic game.
confused that Christians, having largely lost the battle for Christmas songs
and pageants in schools and nativity displays on town greens, find themselves grasping
for any symbolic straws we can hold on to against the onslaught of Grinches.
The Christmas Tree and Santa Clause as protected religious icons? Backed into a secular culture corner, is that
really all we’re left to defend?
I’m confused by Christmas lights and the suburban elves who drape their houses
and evergreen shrubs each year with holiday cheer. I see a trend toward
shortcuts and taking the easy way out. Fewer hand-strung lights with their
characteristic unevenness (aka individuality) to be replaced with those
pre-formed light nets that can be practically tossed out the second floor bedroom
window down onto the waiting yews below. Once plugged in they radiate
mathematically perfectly-spaced little nodes of light into the suburban
December is not supposed to be about perfection, and certainly not about
rampant spending of funds that most of us don’t have, or of wars-that-won’t-end.
It’s supposed to be Advent, the preparations for the one who is perfect to come
down to Earth for those of us who are far from perfect.