Confessions of a 40-Something Six: Christmas Edition
Ebbs & Flows
So excited am I, Mum!
Tell me! When does Christmas Come?
Time is Short; it ebbs and flows.
Comes 'fore anybody knows.
Presents growing. It's all fun.
Where is mine, Mum? Which one?
Time will tell it ebbs and flows.
Hid them up under yo' nose!
Carolers come, singing songs!
Choc'late, you must give them Mum!
Time is short; it ebbs and flows.
Choc'late, hot! will warm their souls.
Sleepy now. To bed, I rest.
When I wake, Mum, it's time yet?
Time is short; it ebbs and flows.
Jesus', gift to heal our woes?
No, Mum. Presents made for me!
Tell me now so I will dream.
Time will come. It ebbs and flows.
Gift of Christ in your heart grows.
Mum, presents? His gift I dream.
Atonement is my blessing?
Time's short true, it ebbs and flows.
Gift of giving saves all souls.
Mum, are gifts below the tree?
Yes, my dear. You do have three.
Time to sleep. Life ebbs and flows.
Think Christ, amid ho ho ho's.
What better way to plan out Christmas-yet-to-comes by sharing Christmas-that-have-beens?
A special time of year filled with wonder and cheer, Christmas brings back fond memories of love and acceptance, good food, and presents. The older I get, time really does ebb and flow! I messed around ebbing and flowing too much trying to do some cleaning recently that I ebbed right into the floor! Age has a way of making a man take a load off every now and then.
Counting the Christmas celebrations left in our lives, it seems that there are fewer and fewer left to work with as we get older. What better way to plan out Christmas-yet-to-comes by sharing Christmas-that-have-beens? In this edition of Confessions of a 40-Something living in the memories add to the joy of allowing others to share in them too.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.— Matthew 5:16
The Lights of Christmas
Family traditions to drive around the neighborhood and see the decorations ambitious neighbors put out to show their holiday spirit is the pastime of thousands of families in the US, possibly millions around the world.
Santa blowups, large candy canes, countless snowmen, and the lights. The lights at Christmas time dazzle the eyes filling children and adults with wonderment.
Lights at Temple Square
One family took the tradition of viewing the lights of their neighbors seriously. Their lights go up the day after Thanksgiving in the US, and they were out scouting to see who else was hardcore Christmas fanatics. Usually, their lights remained one of a few neighborhood overachievers, but by the 15th day before Christmas, their neighborhood is aglow with commercialism and the sacred on display.
Passing each decorated house the kids led by the father to the embarrassment of the mother gave each house a grade on how well it scored. One particular day before Christmas, the houses received some extremely harsh scores from the kids and father.
"Did they just throw those lights up there? They get a 'D' for dud," yells the father with his windows down, kids shouting in agreement, and their neighbors who received the grade standing in bewilderment as they passed by to the next house.
"Awe, that's cute," says the mother. "There is an angel on the top of that tree and little shepherds listening to it sing."
"F," countered the father. "If they had some real passion they would have tried to do more angels!"
"Oh, how lovely," the mother said concerned her husband was missing the fun. "How elegant are those simple candles on the windowsill."
"Ha! Can I say too cheap to put up lights? Fail! 'F'!"
Kids laughed at the father enjoying the neighborhood roast. After a few minutes of driving that particular night, the family stopped in front of one house that looked sad, the decorations.
Seeing all those impressive lights, this house looked tired and weak.
"I will give them a 'C' because they tried." Shaking his head, "these people's house just looks so sad and thrown away! I think I might have to drop it to a D. Again, though, they tried it"
Turning into the driveway, the mother lets out a chirpy snicker.
"Why are we stopping at this pitiful house," everyone said almost in unison to the mother.
"This is our house."
Stunned silence for a few seconds turned into uproarious laughter.
"Dang, I guess I should tone down my judging," confessed the father. "Our lights do look pitiful compared to Walt Disney World across the street. I swear he went to get more lights just because he saw us putting ours out so they can outshine us."
It was me, I confess. You knew that when you started reading. I promise I made certain no pictures of our lights went anywhere but in the trash can that year.
When that recognition turns into criticizing taunts, it defecates on the meaning of Christmas
Family is What Christmas is About
Real Christmas Light
The lesson learned from that experience is to never use someone's hard work as a sport to gratify pride. Each person has his or her own ability to do something great with their homes at Christmas time according to their resources and talents.
Poking fun at people's best efforts, especially in earshot stifles brotherhood and diminishes creativity. In vanity, I went about as a self-appointed judge to mark the creativity and beauty of others based on the best I had seen. Recognizing that someone has better talent at something than another is fine. When that recognition turns into criticizing taunts, it defecates on the meaning of Christmas
Christmas is not all about how the lights look, but the fact that people are celebrating with light the birth of Christ, a light to the world of Love and Compassion.
© 2018 Rodric Anthony Johnson