December 10, 2011

Rolling the Gimel

I hate Christmas. Don't get me wrong. The mystery of the Incarnation, the celebration of the Lord's Nativity, its wonderful octave and whole liturgical season, crowned as it is with the mystic awakening of Epiphany and the hope of Jesus' baptism--I love all of that very much. But the world's 'holiday season,' with its sappy songs, so many shopping days left, Santa hats and antlers on cars, all of that y'all can have, because it ain't my bag.

So I'm always happy to have little experiences at this time of year, and I always do, that reveal the feebleness of the whole business.

On my walk today I saw an odd sight. A lady was assembling an artificial Christmas tree right there on the sidewalk. Next to the tree, lying there on the curb, was a big dreidel. And I mean silly big. The cuboid portion had to be at least four cubic feet.

With something like earnest exasperation she addressed me as I approached.

"Want a free Christmas tree?"

"No thank you," I responded.

"Oh well. I just thought I would ask and maybe save myself the trouble of making a 'free to take' sign to put on it."

"How about the giant dreidel?" I inquired.

"That's free too."

I didn't take it. So, if you feel like an artificial Christmas tree of medium height or a huge dreidel would make your holiday season, take your bad self down to Moraine St. in Jamaica Plain.


Mark D. said...

Completely agree with you about "fake Christmas" -- the commercial and secularized "holiday" that afflicts us this time of year. The religious holiday of Christmas -- which starts at midnight on Christmas Eve and last until Epiphany -- is a wonderful time, one of my favorite times of the year. But the fake holiday -- ick. No fun for me!

Anonymous said...

Though the secular Christmas is hard to take, I would feel despondent without the lights, Christmas trees, and festive spirit during this season. It's the excess commercialism that makes me unhappy, but then I guess it's the one time of year that some kind of evangelization takes place on a greater scale than normally when "people" realize whose birthday commemoration is causing all this frenzy.


Anonymous said...

I too was bemoaning the lost meaning of Christmas this past weekend. Holidays are always full of expectation (and associated disappointment) that is hard to bring to fruition. Working for a living, family and child-care responsibilities, budgets that are tight, coupled with the expectation that the house be immaculate, decorated, Christmas cards sent, and presents under the tree. I found myself getting quite angry with having to get the house ready for the arrival of my in-laws who are more interested in dressing up their granddaughter for photos than actually developing a relationship with her. Then I took a two hour break to sing at the Stations of the Nativity at church (another thing on my list of things to do) when it dawned on me ... Christ was born in a stable because there was no room for him at the inn. There may be no room for Christ in our secular world either, but nevertheless he came, in the quiet of the night, unnoticed with the exception of those rare few attentive shephards and wisemen. And He came to save us from all this nonsense. So although my heart may yet still be enslaved in this madness, my soul yet cries out, "Come Lord Jesus!"

Tc said...

I'm with you, Father. Not a fan.

Although I could do awesome things with a giant dreidel.