Sunday, December 7, 2014

Bah! Humbug! Christmas and Plastic Reindeer

"...'What else can I be,' returned the uncle, 'when I live in such a world of fools as this? ... 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!'..."
("A Christmas Carol," Charles Dickens (1843) via
'Tis the season to be frazzled.

Advent is when some Americans max out their credit cards, buying presents and setting up holiday parties: while others kvetch over bright lights and holiday music played in stores.

I sympathize with pre-ghost Ebenezer Scrooge, to a point. My culture's Christmas season can be more hustle than holiday.

But I like bright lights, hearing "Jingle Bells" doesn't make me go out and buy stuff, and seeing inflated candy canes in these short winter days doesn't disgust me. At all.

Then there's anguish over greetings.

I like "Merry Christmas," myself: but don't go berserk when someone writes "Xmas."

Carefully avoiding mention of "Christmas" seems silly: considering the profusion of red-and-green store decorations, and recurrent "commercialization" rants online. This holiday is firmly embedded in my culture.

"Happy Holiday" covers the Advent, Christmas, New Year's Eve, Saint Sylvester's, and assorted other midwinter celebrations: and sidesteps angst over diversity, real or imagined.

"Happy Holiday" isn't entirely safe, though:
  • "Happy" discriminates against people with mood disorders
  • "Holiday" sounds too much like "holy day"
  • "Winter" discriminates against folks living in the southern hemisphere
That's enough snark for one post, I think. Maybe too much. Or too little. Never mind.

Where was I? Scrooge. Credit cards. Feeling frazzled. Right.

My household's yard isn't lit up with inflatable snow globes, plastic reindeer, and flashing LEDs; the family van doesn't sport a Christmas wreath; but if other folks like to light up the night — that's okay with me.

We're not supposed to be all alike, and that's another topic.

More snark and sense:


Anonymous said...

*** The painfully slow process of uncovering the child abuse that happened within the Catholic Church continues. The members of the church continue to try and protect the wrong people, at the expense of victims, their families and the welfare of the general public. ***

The Archdiocese of Chicago has voluntarily released documents related to 36 Archdiocesan priests who have at least one substantiated allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor. These documents are in addition to those released in January on 30 other priests. This release, together with the January release, covers priests who have substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct with minors identified on the Archdiocese's website as of November 2014. Documents pertaining to two priests, former Rev. Daniel J. McCormack and Rev. Edward J. Maloney, are not included, due to ongoing processes that do not permit release.

Inquiries may be directed to the Office of the Protection of Children and Youth, Archdiocese of Chicago, PO Box 1979, Chicago, IL 60690.

web addy for the documents:

Brian Gill said...

Anonymous, as I suggested before: prayer couldn't help. (November 23, 2014)

Interestingly, the mailing address you gave checks out. Folks who are online may want to visit the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office for the Protection of Children and Youth Department of Personnel Services contact page. (

As I've said about prayer: it couldn't hurt, but no pressure.

Elizabeth Reardon said...

I had to laugh but I'm not sure if there ever could be an emotionally neutral seasonal observance of Christmas..that is if it is truly observed. For to remember Christ's birth is to remember when God reached down and touched every heart. :)I agree, it goes beyond the commercialized gift the gift of hope and love.

Brian Gill said...

Thank you, Elizabeth Reardon.

A little laughter is a good idea - taking my cue from St. Phillip Neri, the 'amiable' Saint. ("That's Funny: Another Way of Being Catholic " (November 13, 2011))

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.