Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Christmas Blessing

To my friends far & near:

I Wish you a blessed Christmastide! Be comforted today in knowing that the veil between time and eternity was rent, and the very expression of God was incarnate in the form of a helpless infant. Pause to remember the means of our redemption began in a dank, dark stable on a cold night in the Bethlehem.

Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon
him, and to be born [this day] of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer, Collect for Christmas Day

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Grinchmas? Bah, Humbug!

It’s that time of year again, when that holiday most offensive appears on the calendar. What day, pray tell. Is it Ol’ Jeff Davis’ birthday? Is it “Be kind to National Socialists Week”? Or, perhaps it’s the annual “Klanabrationfest”, who knows. No, it’s none of the above. It’s Grinchmas. Though I'm a non-Grinchian, my hide is of sufficient thickness not to be overly offended by the holiday.

Grinchmas is a relatively new holiday, newer than Kwanza or even Festivus. It’s a holiday that is celebrated by a relative few, yet foisted upon the majority. Like other holidays, its marked by its traditional greetings, gifts, attire and spirit.

We’ve seen our share of sweaters and ties that range from kitschy-cute, to wacky-tacky. But what’s the attire for Grinchmas? The most common of Grinchmas attire are panties that are worn in a bunch. The more bunched up the panties are, the more the person is reveling in the spirit of Grinchmas. There is a proper way to bunch one’s panties for Grinchmas; an ordinary wedgie will not suffice. One properly bunches their panties by being exposed to both the sacred and secular expressions of Christmas. Stumbling upon a crèche or magi will bunch panties. Recently, even the profane expressions like Christmas trees, Father Christmas and carols have been very effective panty-bunchers.

What is a holiday without gifts? Perhaps the most common Grinchmas gift is the injunction. This is a special gift that’s given freely to those who would dare to attempt to place an expression of Christmas in a public (and recently, in private) forum. Threats also make fine Grinchmas gifts. Think about it, what’s a better gift than threatening a school bus driver with disciplinary action for the insensitive crime of wearing a Klan hood (No wait, he was wearing a Santa Hat) while driving children to school?
The officially sanctioned greeting for Grinchmas is simply “Happy Holidays”. This is fine and well but frankly, it leaves me a bit confused. I looked at my calendar and discovered that there are scads of holidays. Are they wishing me a happy Arbor Day and feast of Ambrose of Milan? Or perhaps they wish me a fair Feat of William Laud or Louis of France? Who knows?

In considering the spirit of Grinchmas, I’ve saved the best for last. Many holidays elicit feelings of love, warmth and nostalgia. Grinchmas however, brings about that wonderful acerbic, apoplectic feeling that’s indescribable. Basking in the warm glow of the town Christmas tree is a sure way to experience the feelings of Grinchmastide. Carols in a public school, menorah’s in a public square, or hearing the utterance of “Christmas” works equally well.

Now, what about those who may be offended by Grinchmastide revelry? After all, this is a country known for its diversity and truth be told, the majority of folk don’t hold a Grinchian worldview. (Oh well, you can see where this is headed…)

Grinches, get over yourselves! A blessed Christmas to all; Peace on earth, and goodwill to mankind!

Friday, December 01, 2006

St. Andrew's Day...Post Script

I made reference to a Westie and a Scotty in the previous post. I present to you Lexi Lou and Barney O'Kane, my four-legged "dog kids". Lexi (our Westie) has been with us since March 2001. Barney (our Scotty) has been in the family since June 2004.

These two dogs have have been a constant source of joy and companionship. As terriers, they've had their moments and occasionally have shown the ability to try one's patience. Their pleasant disposition more than makes up for any of their terrier quirks.

So, what can you say about little folk who are faithful, loyal, trusting, quick to forgive and not given to hold a grudge? Hmm... I might say that the Father may have created dogs to remind His kids just how to behave.