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.