19 December 2006

Take That, Richard Dawkins!

Having mis-represented the religious bete noir du jour as David instead of Richard Dawkins in my other blog, it seems only fair to give a fellow traveler some column inches here in compensation. A dear colleague sent in her yuletide recollection to share. It seems her young son had a spiritual crisis at a very tender age. But I'll let her tell the story...

... Hi Fred,

It seemed like a long time since I had connected with you. So I search for you, find your blog--and what! you are giving me a lump of coal! Bah Humbug!

loved your sad story. I remember living through that pain of materialistic hopes dashed at Christmas, and so made the point never to ask my kids what they wanted Santa to bring them for Christmas. Santa brought them things, but as a total surprise. And I think it did help make the thing a whole lot more fun.

I have several memories to share, but I'll post this one that always makes me smile as a first offering. We were living in Chicago, and my son Peter was about 3. We lived in a tiny urban house, and certainly didn't have a fireplace, chimney or mantle. Peter was okay with hanging his stocking on the doorknob as we had done in previous years, making no comment about this 'irregularity in Christmas lore'. After he went to sleep on Christmas eve, I snuck a bright red tricycle into the house and "under" the tree.

In the morning, he was up early, eager to see what surprises Santa had brought. He raced to the living room, and shouted "A Tricycle! A tricycle! Wow! Santa brought me a tricycle!" There was a brief pause, and then I heard him call out "How'd he get THAT down the chimney!"

Happy Christmas,



Anonymous said...

I'd really rather grumble about this twisted up bunch incongruous junk we call a holiday. Maybe this is why people aren't sending in the fond memories....

Listen, none of it makes a bit of sense, right? You lie to your children about where gifts come from, you give and receive USELESS tokens, that clutter your home.

Jesus lit a menorah, need I say more?

Year after year, the older I get, the more it seems like a tsunami of insanity washes over the entire "culture" for weeks and weeks and weeks.

Some really thoughtful people at my congregation set up an Amnesty International letter writing table last weekend. For an hour, in between services, we wrote letters to remind PRISONERS in CAGES that we're thinking of them. But really all I could think of was that if we spent one-hundreth of our time tninking about people in cages as we do processing all this "holiday" idiocy, maybe some kid's mom or dad wouldn't be spending the holiday in a cage.

We have turned the "holiday" into a monster that we continue to appease. And we're feeding the monster while celebrating the guy who said to spend time advocating for the prisoners.

Phew! I think I feel a little better now. Thanks for listening.

WFW said...

Glad you feel a little better. But you are so right about our cultural insanity. Reminds me of a old Star Trek episode where people in an apparently prim and proper 19th century town dissoloved into frenzied bacchanalia at night, shouting 'festival!' and generally going crazy. For suppsedly intelligent, self reliant, creatures we can sure act like stepford robots without much help at all. Just look at our government for the last six years...