20 December 2010

coming and going

At Christmas time, even for non-traditional people, thoughts turn to tradition. Sometimes, for some reasons, traditions do not re-appear. It is a time for moving on too.

This year, it seems some traditions are moving on. Christmas dinner; my allegedly well liked leg of lamb; roasted vegetables and my mom's jell-o and whipped cream salad are the 'stars;' seems to be a casualty. It may be that this will be a New Year's Day dinner now. Christmas is too crowded this year.

For most of the last 46 years, this is also the time my buddy and I meet, share dinner out and shop gifts for wives and children. Not this year. I do not know why, he is not taking my calls nor is his wife Sue-z's. So we end the year with a certain sense of mourning as apparently, we do not know why, a friendship ends after decades.

Other friends are very ill. They may make this Christmas home and it may be their last there. Family and friends are concerned, indeed scared. Saying, "Merry Christmas" will be hard if still possible.

I always knew Christmas dinner would change. Kids marry, they have kids and lives. Changes happen as they move on in their worlds and I want them to grow and move along.

Friendships, though are another matter. In the one case I am mystified. Sue-z and I don't know how or what either of us may have done to anger my friends. We are sure at least one of us did something that someone found offensive -- that is clear. But we cannot figure out what. In the other cases it is hard not to feel mostly fear.

So here am I awaiting Christmas, singing the Oh antiphons quietly to myself as I hope to heal from a nasty case of laryngitis; planning a very different and smaller dinner and wondering how I offended. An interesting and not particularly good place to be right before Christmas. But I am a lucky person, I have sons, grand-babies, a wife, brothers and friends whom I know care about me, whom I know wish for me and all of us the joy of the day. I am not angry, sad indeed but only that.

It is none-the-less easy to understand why healers and first responders do not look forward to this season. We over load it with so much tradition, so much expectation and so much emotion that many are not able to see all the good when they suffer disappointments.

Somewhere near you or among your family, friends or acquaintances is that person who cannot get past the expectations and emotions to the joy. Find that person! Find her and reach out, share the anger if it is there or loss or whatever else is in the way. Emmanuel comes! There is joy in the world. Be a guide to that joy for someone.



Anonymous said...

Christmas is a complete waste of time.
I'm amazed by "progressives" who mourn over materialism and waste and who yet demand all these ceremonies and banquets and travel.

JimB said...

I think you are answering the wrong post. I said nothing about travel or banquets, nothing about demanding anything. Christmas is joy love and sharing not one of those is ever a waste of time. I also said nothing against the materialism the season brings. Yes it is there for some, but that is OK.

Joy to the world. That is all we offer.


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