Sunday, December 09, 2018

Why be a jerk in the Lord's name?

One of our newer Sat 9-ers went off on a mini-rant this week about Christmas. It's too commercial, and those "seculars" insist on saying "Happy Holidays," which somehow diminishes the season for her.

It's her blog so it's her right to rant. I just won't visit her anymore. It's not the first time that she's wrapped her hostility in my faith and it offends me.

My Christianity is about love.

I love my Jewish friends, who celebrate Hanukkah during this Sat 9-er's Christmas season. I refuse to believe that Jesus actually wants me to ignore what matters to them as I celebrate Him. Similarly, when I say "Happy Holidays," in addition to Christmas I am including The Immaculate Conception, Kwanzaa, St. Nicholas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's.  I don't make a big deal out of all those days, but if you do, please be happy. The world needs more happy.

When you are bagging my groceries or handing me my dry cleaning, I cannot know which of those holidays you celebrate. So I say, "Happy Holidays." Because I know Jesus wants good things for you, too.

If you do not worship any god, you still deserve to make happy memories during this happy time. If you are atheist or agnostic, you have obviously heard The Greatest Story Ever Told and decided it's not for you. I don't believe that my saying, "Merry Christmas" will suddenly make a lightbulb go off over your head. I do believe, however, that my tone-deaf admonition that you celebrate my faith could drive you further away. And that is not my goal.

And then there's this: this country was built on religious freedom. So this insistence on institutionalized Christianity is unpatriotic.

Besides, "Happy Holidays" was good enough for Andy Williams. Andy is, of course, the Official Voice of The Gal Herself's Christmas.  

I wish everyone could experience the solace and wisdom I get from following Jesus. But even if you don't, I sincerely want you to enjoy the season, and to enjoy Andy.

Sunday Stealing


favorite novel and author? It changes. Lately I've been thinking about William Goldman, who died last month. He's best known as a screenwriter, but his novels were little gems of wit, heart and construction. If you get a chance, read Princess Bride and Magic. They were exceptional novels before they became hit movies.

favorite perfume/scent? Black Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor

coffee or tea? Tea

are you a cat or dog person? I object to this question. I love critters. I have cats because my lifestyle is cat friendly. But I could easily lose my heart to a dog.

which mythical creature would you transform into if you could? No specific myth comes to mind. Though I would like her powers.



favorite time period? Mid century. Either the 1860s or the 1960s. Such tumult and romance!
name 3 films that have changed your life and have shaped you into the person you are today.

Mary Poppins
The Way We Were
To Kill a Mockingbird 

diamonds or pearls? Pearls. The more you know about diamonds, the less beautiful they become.

what’s your biggest dream? Independence/security


dream destination? Lately I have been fantasizing about a return to the Spa at Colonial Williamsburg. It's financially not in the cards, but it's where my mind wanders.

favorite fictional character? Jo from Little Women

share a quote or passage that means something to you.

what’s your favorite plant/flower? Carnations. They are colorful, versatile and fragrant.

do you prefer the forest or the ocean? why? I like big water (rivers and lakes, too). I like their motion and their colors.


what do you value most in people?  Availability. The willingness to be there. (Which reminds me -- I owe two friends phone calls!)

I admit I'm relieved

My niece wanted to celebrate Christmas with me this year. This was a surprise. A pleasant one to be sure, but a surprise nevertheless. I felt it keenly that we missed one another last year, but I didn't realize she felt it, too.

Then I got thinking: Why does she want to see me? I began to suspect that she might be engaged. She and Mark have been together a while now (two years?) and she seems to love him very much.* He's good to her, he loves their cats, and he's smart and progressive, so he gets my seal of approval. I wish he was a Cub fan, but we can't have everything. (At least he's not a Cardinals fan.)

Then, being me, I got worrying: A wedding! I may be moving this year, I'm going to the TCM Film Festival ... How much time will I get off? And I don't want to see my older sister. I really, really don't.

I'm happy to report that her left hand was naked as a jaybird! She just wanted to see me. And she seemed to be very happy that I was getting along so well with Mark. He was a little shy at first, but he mentioned that in college he took a course in bio-neurology and brain function, so I used questions about Henry's accident and recovery to draw him out.

I gave her a colorful, crazy soft faux fur scarf and a giftcard to Ulta. I'm not 100% sure she liked the scarf. It might be a little too much color for her. Since it's a regift, I can't blame her. But it is quality and expensive  and wherever it ends up next, I hope that woman likes it.

Mark got a beard grooming kit (wash, soap, oil and balm). That was a more successful gift. He was happy to see it was lightly scented, and told me a funny story of using menthol shampoo on his beard and how the fragrance wafted up and cleared his sinuses for the day.

I got a bath set. Orange scented bath bomb, body lotion and foot lotion. Emery board for exfoliation. She knows I love this stuff. 

Then we got on the subject of marriage. We arrived there because of a cousin who recently had a baby without the benefit of wedlock. I said I didn't get. Her baby daddy's name is on the lease and the birth certificate so it's not like he can just cut out. Why not get married? Mark explained that, "to our generation," it's not about the love or commitment but the celebration of the love and commitment. And until they can afford to celebrate it in style, they don't want to do it. So, I guess, there are no late night trips to Vegas and an Elvis impersonator in their future. And, to my relief, no wedding in mine.

My only regret about the afternoon is that I didn't take any photos! It was my first Christmas celebration of the year, it was lovely, but I have no pix.

*Though it must be said that she seemed to love Michael and Jason, his predecessors, very much, too. I think she wants badly to be in a relationship.