Monday, November 30, 2015

Fleeing Christmas

Yesterday at Mass, our celebrant (not the usual Father Kevin, but Archbishop Broglio, here in town visiting family for the holidays--yeah, we feel kinda cool, having an archbishop in the family and all that. Not my own personal family, but my church family. He's here a lot. Better still, he's Archbishop for Military Services USA, which means he's badass, too, in a holy reverent wearing-a-pink-hat kind of way) anyhow, clearly I digress--Archbishop Broglio (don't know why he's "Arch" bishop and not just plain bishop; no one's ever been able to explain that) said that advent calls us to do three things:

1) Flee.

2) Be silent.

3) Pray.

I am not really very good at homilies--sometimes my mind drifts off into writings of my own creation, so that the homily becomes more a chance for me to fix plot holes--but this one was the sort I liked, clear, simple, and easy to remember. Plus it seemed like such a good idea. Flee. Oh hell yes. I love Christmas but sometimes it seems to come packed with way too much stuff. Matching outfits (we don't actually do those anymore, now that the children--let alone my husband--refuse to wear coordinated pjs). Cookies (mostly I save those for Christmas Eve. We always make Christmas cookies on Christmas eve morning.). Cards? (Last year I skipped them. It was, honestly, awesome. I sort of feel bad about not sending everyone photos of my lovely children, a year older once again, but at the same time THIS IS WHY WE INVENTED THE INTERNET, PEOPLE.) Obligations which, the more you think about them, seem to have absolutely nothing to do with the birth of Christ.

Here is stuff I love: parties. From the all-day binge that is my friend's annual brunch to the pony club holiday party, to thawing out that leg of lamb for my husband's partners to eat. I've got a new dress with sparkles on it. Imagonna shine.

Ornaments. Long ago we started a tradition of buying Christmas ornaments on our family travels. This morning while I was watering the tree I noticed one painted with an image of the USS Constitution, the tall ship that stands in Boston Harbor. I was immediately transported back to a very hot day, a very interesting tour, and my 7-year-old son being crabby as all hell because we were refusing to spend $200 each for bleacher seats to see the RedSox/Yankees. (He's still bitter. I'm still glad we didn't do it.)

Music. All the music., but especially Pentatonix.

Buying gifts, sort of. Too much shopping makes me crazy. Shopping on Black Friday? Never. (Getting a bargain on the internet? Sure.) Deciding which local stores I love best and making a point to go there? absolutely! Buying the right book for someone? perhaps my favorite gift of all.

Speaking of, if you want signed copies of The War That Saved My Life, and you don't live close enough to swing by the house or drop them off at Faith in Action (I'm there every Wednesday), Parnassus Books in Nashville has them in stock, AND today only is offering 15% off every signed book in the store. Think about where you shop. Parnassus rocks.