“If I could work my will,” said Scrooge indignantly, “every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!” — Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol“
Like Ebenezer Scrooge, I’ve had a tough time warming up emotionally for Christmas this year. I’m not sure why. Maybe it was the virus I caught the first week of December. Maybe it was the single-digit cold snap that hit about the same time. Maybe it was the incessant Grinchiness of the news. I don’t know. Anyhow, here’s a list of tangentially-associated things that either made me more (+) or less (-) merry this Yuletide:
(-) Nearly impossible to find traditional Christmas carols on the radio this year. I’d rather eat fruitcake than sit through another rendition of “Home for the Holidays,” “The Christmas Song,” “We Need a Little Christmas,” or (gag, retch) “Celebrate me Home.” Don’t even get me started on “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.”
(+) All the kids are home, behaving themselves and even doing their own Christmas shopping.
(-) Aforementioned virus and cold snap put me behind on Christmas decorations. Finally got the exterior lights up yesterday, but the tree’s still boxed in the basement.
(+) Church had a beautiful candlelight Communion service last night. Some traditional liturgy, scripture readings, and Communion that was treated as and felt sacramental. Seeing more of this in our local Nazarene church lately, and that’s encouraging.
(-) Looks like we’re getting a New Deal for Christmas this year! If only.
(+) Our family kept the Christmas shopping sane, and we’re all done, short of some stocking stuffers, which are happily abundant this year.
(-) State of Kansas and the local school districts are playing a year-end game of chicken with funding and teacher salaries. Bah, humbug.
(+) Whenever I start feeling down, I can count on Linus to remind me of what Christmas is all about.