Since "We Are At War", a little reminder of...well, real war."Because that stable in Bethlehem was a 'shelter', too..."
All the presents are wrapped, the Christmas roast beef consumed, the Littles are entertaining themselves while taunting their parents by watching one of those appalling "Chipmunks" movies (dear God!) and my bride is finishing binding the edge of a quilt. I'm looking up bizarre Christmas videos on YouTube (the Nazi one is...strange). We're an exciting group here at the Fire Direction Center.
I still find the entire business of our "Christmas" strange; a glittery ornament that is completely hollow inside.
I still have not a shred of faith, other than my usual bitter amusement at the ability of my fellow hairless chimps to find justification for their most self-serving actions in tales of a magical Judean two thousand years old.
My bride is, so far as I know, even less religious than I am; while I have a certain lingering affection for and admiration of those who genuinely live the tenets of their faiths (whatever those faiths may be) she has said that she considers the entire nonsense a sort of nonprofit scam at best. I try and tell the kiddos that the stories of Jesus and Muhammad and Abraham are no less "real" than those of Santa and Ebenezer Scrooge - that while I don't believe in them I don't know that they're "wrong" anymore than the religious people who tell them "know" they're right.
Mojo just laughs and tells the littles that it's all a big ball of styrofoam packing peanuts, a whole bunch of hooey.
And the small ones, they are at the stage where laughing and mocking the old Bible stories seems daring and funny.
If I had any more respect for the institution of the Papacy than I have for the North American Man-Boy Love Association and Bank of America combined I would be tempted to apologize to Bennie Sixteen. He's pretty much got us pegged. We're in it for the bling, baby. If my kiddos had been there in that stable two thousand and forty-three years ago they'd have tossed li'l Jesus out of the manger looking for one more prezzie. He would have been so much detritus around what they consider important to the day and, besides, as Missy herself would advise you: "Babies are stupid!"
Regardless of our impiety and our disregard for the "reason for the season" this time of year is traditionally also supposed to be about loving and caring for others. And as I am here surrounded by those I love I hope you and those you love are together, or, if not, at peace and in harmony tonight. I hope tomorrow, whether you're waking for a holiday or just for another Sunday, brings you challenge and fulfillment, joy and contentment.
And Baby Jesus? Well, if He is why you're celebrating today I sincerely hope you find him, in the day, in your loved ones, in your world, in your hearts. As the Chipmunks would say; me, I want a hula hoop.