Okay! The pink candle went up yesterday! That means Christmas is a week away. Oh, the anticipation, the waiting...the anxiety about shopping.
This is the week that we'll jump in the car and ride around town looking for the ubiquitous home that mixes and matches all things Walmart in an effort to create the perfect lawn display.
We give awards for the most tasteful displays, even though there's a great deal of debate within the family about the appropriate choice for lights. Some of us like the simple white lights, understanding that less is more and there is great beauty in being understated and classy. Others, who shall remain nameless, have the philosophy that more is more, the gaudier the better, and prefer to not only have a vomitosis of multiple colors, but must also have the epilepsy attack inducing blinking and chasing lights--mixed up! so that some parts are merely blinking, and others are chasing, and some are chasing AND blinking. We love said family member all the same, but we really need an intervention.
We reserve all of our sarcasm and wit for the folks who so sweetly abandon theme altogether, and have the juxtaposition of Santa Claus and Baby Jesus together, not just in the same part of the yard, but side-by-side.
Who knew Santa Claus was one of the wisemen? I love the cheesy Santa kneeling at the Baby's manger, bringing milk and cookies. I am always astounded by the vision of camels and palm trees surrounded by Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, and a candycane field--or, could those be the shepherds staffs?
We laugh and point our fingers, and engage in all kinds of mockery, but there must be some redeeming aspect of our outing, doncha think?
Indeed, it is in the joy of family and friends being together and having fun. We can understand that the true meaning of Christmas, Christ's Mass, the birth of our Savior, is what this is about. Christmas is the biggest birthday party of the year; it's a lot of fun to celebrate. But the camaraderie, the fun, the JOY must center around the birth of our Lord. Even plastic Santa gets it, when he kneels before the Baby. Remember that this joyous celebration carries with it a great deal of sobering Truth, that this babe in swaddling cloths has come to save us.