I love Christmas. I love it because everyone comes together in a way that is different from the way we come together throughout the rest of the year. There is something about that deep, deep connection that exists around the holidays. And it isn’t just Christmas, that is too Christian to assume, but I think it has something to do with the winter season. Whether we want to admit it or not, death is lurking around us in the winter. At least the appearance of death sits firmly about us. The trees are brown, the grass is brown, the land is covered with snow, and ice encrusts what little is alive and alert in the cold. I am amazed at the way the pine tree in our front yard comforts me. I hate winter. What I hate about it is that it reminds of death and I want to think about life. As I move through advent I want to look forward to life, not to the barrenness that surrounds me. I am not sure what Christians were thinking by moving a celebration of life into the middle of winter other than the fact that they were trying to get one up on those dastardly pagans! Yo Saturnalia! Anyway, the pine tree reminds me that life and greenery are coming. There is a rebirth on the way. The world, despite our best anti-environmental efforts, will reawaken in a few months.
I think I am getting older, too, because things make me cry. I was at the airport, which usually makes me cry, but I saw this woman get off the plane and walk into the arms of her parents (they looked just like her) and they all started crying. And so did I. I was so moved by their presence that I just wept. Becky looked at me and said, you’re crying, aren’t you. Of course I’m not, I replied. There’s no crying in baseball. I never knew how much other people’s happiness effected me. I cry at movies and books. I mean who wouldn’t cry at the final scenes of Moulin Rouge or Tess of the D’Urbervilles? I do. Every time. I even cry at the sappy stories in Guideposts. It borders on ridiculous.
Speaking of bordering on the ridiculous. All three of Becky’s kids are here for the holidays. Andy and Tim brought their respective girlfriends, Claire and Whitney, and David’s girlfriend, Heather, is coming down after he gets back from California. When everyone is here, life borders on ridiculous… until we add beer, and then there is no border. Things become all out hilarity. Tonight the boys are taking us out to Vera Mae’s for dinner, and then we are going to the Heorot for beers. It should be a spectacularly absurd time! My only regret is that we haven’t played one round of drunken Trivial Pursuit.
I am reading The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible. The writer is agnostic, but he grapples more realistically with tough spiritual questions than most Christians I know. I am learning quite a bit, and you have to respect a man who read the bible from cover to cover in five weeks! I recommend this read.