Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Comment on The Fictious War on Christmas
To paraphrase Charles Dickens, “Good morning all and to all a Good Morning.” That awful day of the year Christmas Day has rolled around once more. I am mindful of the self-proclaimed christians and christianist politicians among us who are bemoaning a mythical War on Christmas by people who have the temerity to wish people something different than the usual Merry Christmas in favor of a more diverse greeting reflective of the diversity in America that we all enjoy. Well perhaps all of us enjoy it except for the Lost in Leviticus christian crowd who believe that Happy Holidays is an act of war against the godhead. The greeting preferred by such people has always made me think of a a gaggle of old fat English gentlemen suffering the effects of gout on their blossoming bodies sitting around a bounteous table packed with fowl, roasts, rabbits, duck, and geese toasting themselves and their good fortune with glass after glass of English port and claret. In my view it has always seemed somewhat sacrilegious to honor a babe born in a shed meant to shelter animals against the cold of the night with such a gluttonous feast.
Recently I was in the local diner for breakfast and to visit with some of my friends and neighbors who favor the place for its breakfasts when I noticed one of the local Norbertine monks was present with a small group of his friends. I hailed the good father and he came over to where I was sitting and we began a short discussion about his confrères' plans to move their abbey from its present location in Trabuco to a more suitable location in Silverado. We began a polite discussion about their move and their efforts to build their new abbey on the grounds on an old turkey farm nearby. At some point he introduced himself simply as “Leo” and I introduced myself in the same fashion. I disclosed to him that I had once been a Claretian, an association of which I am still very proud decades after I left the company of those brave men. That prompted more discussion and we found we knew several people in common who were and are Claretians today.
He eventually withdrew from our conversation to rejoin his friends and shook my hand and wished me a Blessed Christmas. That blessing has been with me since as I think of Christmas and how it has been transformed from a shopkeepers' holiday into a corporate shopkeepers' holiday in modern America. Father Leo's simple greeting and blessing has really touched me and made me realize that I am indeed blessed to have the wonderful collection of friends who care for and love me. A Blessed Christmas to all who read this.