Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category
The hour is late and my eyes are burning with lack of sleep.
Christmas is here.
Mr. Gray-glo is not ready emotionally for its arrival.
The house is cleaned and decorated. A beautiful tree stands tall in the living room decorated with over 30 years of memories. Gifts are now arranged beneath and about it wrapped in multiple patterned papers.
The nativity now has baby Jesus placed in his manger.
And I realize that within my own manger I have not set a place for him.
Each year we do similar things getting ready for today, for Christmas Day.
I have come to accept that when it comes to the deeper spiritual relationship, deeper meaning of Christmas Day, deeper connection to it as the celebration of the birth of The Christ…I am outside looking in and on without the awe and more importantly the faith.
There is a tension here this year that I feel. Some I have created and some I have responded to, and the rest just seems to find me and us.
And yet, no matter what lack of spirit and lack of faith I have, Christmas Day is here.
Some years you must just go through the motions and maybe be rewarded by a blessing of some spirit, some faith, some measure of meaning.
This is one such year.
So, to each of you, my hope for you is that you need not be outside looking into a manger but are indeed present with the manger inside you.
But for you who are like me this year and from year to year: fear not missing out, go out and at least window shop the nativity like many citizens did when first hearing of the birth but not knowing why or believing why this birth was anything different.
We need not be visited by Dicksonian spirits to keep Christmas in our hearts. But maybe a little whisper in the ear of encouragement will suffice.
Christmas is here, now. The wait was short and like anything and everything in life it comes whether you’re ready for it or not.
This too infrequent blog typist thinks he is.
I hope you are, too.
But it doesn’t matter, does it?
I am a lapsed Catholic and not very spiritual or even filled with the inner morality to make me a member of whatever; the outer is a bit better and does its best to pull the inner along.
What has struck this spiritually irreligious (okay, lazy when it comes to faith practice) is how the theme of being ready for Christmas mirrors how many are not ready for Christ Himself. The day like him comes regardless.
Another weird coincidence for this day of days deals with the Christmas Tree. Somehow you must rearrange your house to make room for the tree. The tree–like Gray-glo’s this season–is too large and doesn’t fit in the room. Some folks put the tree in out of the way areas like breeze-ways, foyers, basement rec rooms (showing my age again)…
Others place it in front of their large picture windows looking out to the outside world announcing that they have found a place for the tree. And isn’t our Tree beautiful, even better than yours!
Isn’t that bit how some of us (and guilty me, again) treat The Church and Christ. Can we make room for Him for a little while or should we just shove Him out of the way so our regular daily day can still go on with all this daily regularity?
Do we publicly announce Him to the world? Or are we merely showcasing Him as a decoration so others can see we do indeed have Him but just on display?
I apologize to attempting profundity so late in the night.
Mr. Gray-glo has played Santa as he has done every Christmas Eve. While the rest of the house except the cats sleep, I bring out the gifts this guy’s MC purchased and place them under and around the tree.
Cards for Mrs. Gray-glo and The Kid are signed, sealed, and placed in their just hanged stockings along with little treats or small gifts.
I like this time alone with the tree illuminating the room.
But, Mr. Gray-glo is not with the tree and is sitting by the cool glow of a flat screen computer monitor; a mere detail.
This year unlike some years previous, Mr. Gray-glo believes—oh, I do believe, do believe, please make it so—that he hit a Triple Crown Breeder’s Cup Pick Six with his gift for Mrs. Gray-glo. Tomorrow will prove it.
Now here comes the part of the blog where I wish you a Merry Christmas.
My hope for you this year is that you figure out the questions posed at the beginning about being prepared for Christ and finding a place of honor in your life for Him.
If you do there is no point is sharing how you figured it out. Each of us have our own mystery to solve and I am sorry to say but sometimes clues others use only confuse the search.
I hope you get to play Santa the way you meant to play him. By that, may your give list be complete and fulfilling for you in an unselfish way.
Merry Christmas from Mr. Gray-glo.
It was 20 years ago this Christmas that what became known as “The Christmas Tape Tradition” started.
My friend Mark presented me a cassette (Bing or Google it if you don’t know what one is) tape of various Christmas songs by various artists. He called it Fragmented Santa: A Christmas in Extremes.
The following Christmas I created my own Christmas Mix Tape called I’ve Got Pine Needles In My Toes!
Much to the chagrin of our lovely spouses a tradition was started.
Each even numbered Christmas year he created a Mix Tape for Christmas and on the odd years it was my turn.
In 2001 with 2001: A Christmas Odyssey Return To Lunacy I made the first CD (look it up if you don’t know what one of those are) collection. Now, the Christmas Tapes are Christmas CDs even though we still call it The Christmas Tape and our wives call it That Christmas Crap.
The rules are that we do not repeat a recording. There is a friendly competition as to who will find the most humorous campy song. A race to be first with using a song: I used the Singing Dog’s barking Jingle Bells before he did. Maybe, upon further reflection, that is not something you’d want engraved on your tombstone.
Now, by not repeating a recording, I mean we don’t repeat the same song previously used on another’s mix. Songs are repeated but performed by different artists or have a different styling than previously used.
I don’t know about other rules. Because, like all madmen, we have not written them down but just know what they are.
One of my own rules of the game is to not get a Christmas album that I suspect he has based on songs he previously used.
These rules are nothing that a few jolts of electro-shock would not cure.
Let’s leave the Christmas Tape back-story for another blog post.
This being 2010, an even year for those fellow Cleveland Public School alumni, it was Mark’s turn to make the mix CD.
A few years ago I gave Mark the book Christmas Songs Made in America for Christmas.
He decided to make his CD based solely on the songs written about in the book. A few rules of his kicked in like songs never before used or used just once, songs used more than once had to be “damned good” by his skewed (one listen to any of our collections and you know what he means by skewed) standards. 31 tunes qualified.
This year’s collection called Christmas Songs Made In America for Little Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Whigs, Federalists & Green Tea Partiers is another piece of evidence to be used at our commitment trial.
I have only listened to it a few times since receiving it on Boxing Day (December 26).
Once again, the bar has been toppled, the gauntlet thrown, the duel challenged…my search for a rebuttal begins anew.
Highlight so far: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs singing Have a Holly Jolly Christmas.
Merry Christmas one and all.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.