Rather than fill your hearts and your lazy brains (because it’s the holidays after all– EVERYONE’S gaining a pound together) with sappy Christmas memories and love and good will to all, I will instead focus on several events that poked out.
A letter to Miss Manners (the polite lady who answers questions in the newspaper) was mourning how Christmas was ruined last year for her family. In the past, they all tore into their presents and wrote general thank-you letters. Last year, because a family member got mad that the kids couldn’t even remember what she got them, the lady struggled to write down what her young children received as gifts– and from whom– that she missed her kids’ expressions; and her kids didn’t like having to report their gifts to her. First of all, how RUDE RUDE RUDE and selfish can you get? This is the type of behavior that produces children who feel entitled to hog the swing at the playground and are destined to start a fight because the last Zhu Zhu pet at Wal-mart went to a poor migrant worker. If you and your kids are sad because you want to suddenly draw a connection to which person gave you what gift– then I don’t think you’re used to giving thanks. Besides, if you’re used to just “tearing into” your Christmas gifts, where do you appreciate the thought behind each wrapper? In your mind, you just have a happy pool of candy where every gum drop is yours and you don’t care how it got there.
We yelled at my little brother who was playing MarioKart against other people around the world. “Stop playing video games and spend time with your family.” True, I think my own family spends “more time with family” than Lady GaGa does on makeup, but a day like Christmas should see more focus on your blessings and others before yourself. I quickly looked at the never ending list of people who were also playing MarioKart online and prayed that they were all Jewish and Buddhists players who don’t celebrate Christmas.
And of course, I WENT TO CHURCH FOR CHRISTMAS!!!! The reason for Christmas is not to force your family to take pictures of themselves in a row to give relatives… or to buy gifts for the sake of buying gifts (strange, my two sisters actually bought the exact same gift for the other– and both kept it!)… it’s because God freakin’ left his powerful perch and decided to save us by lowering himself to our standards. If Paris Hilston also decided to live 33 years of her life as a roach in order to save them, we would have a holiday for that too. So, go to church for every Christmas… and actually listen… don’t just go for the sake of going or because it’s tradition.
And yes, try and go to church for the new year too. Because God is who you thank for that great alcohol-filled party that all your friends came to in 2009… and God is who you’ll ask for an even better party in 2010.