And so this is Christmas.
And if the Pope can do a message to the City and the World, so can I ….and my message is…..it is a bloody awful world. It looks worse than it did last year and next year looks even worse.
Still….thats not a cheery thought at Christmas. I really do like Christmas. Whether its a Christian message (of a Silent Night) or a secular one (Santa Claus is Coming to Town). There is a lot of potential for human decency but we only seem to indulge in it once a year. Decency embarrasses us.
I suspect Christianity…is a bit like Politics….generational. Few really absorb the simplistic message. I always like to think that we over-think it. A man…or woman ….is born….is crucified in life ….and some are good enough to overcome it. You probably know people like that. i certainly do.
And likewise we over-think Santa Claus. He doesnt exist? Nonsense. As adults we give…at least in part…expecting something in return. “Santa” expecta nothing in return. If you have not seen two generations of children write letters and wait for the robin to fly down the chimney to take them to Santa…and lie in bed listening to two generations discover their presents….it is hard to explain it.
Funny moments like Christmas 1989 when #1 son found Subuteo World Cup (Ireland versus Italy) Edition and I had to jump out of bed because that was MY present.
And of course the expense….three grandchildren(13, 8 and 3) …Yes but there should be an 11 year old in there. So a child in the Third World gets a gift of Goats or whatever….because I allow myself to be altruistic.
So….10am. We are all sorted here.
The World actually will go silent around 6pm….the last cash register will go “ker-ching” and there is just a window….when there is a Silent Night. Memories of Christmas Past….of parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts …all dead…who made my Christmas good. The only way to respect them is to make others smile…..but only for 24 hours of course. Go to Church …and before midnight, light a candle and put it in the window so that Joseph and Mary will see it and know they are welcome here….but blow it out five minutes later….cos GOD forbid that the curtains catch fire….and GOD forbid that real refugees and real homeless people might knock our door.
Christmas….It brings out our (spiritual) Christianity and/or (secular) Decency….and yet it exposes our limits.
HAPPY CHRISTMAS! NOLLAIG SHONA!