OK, back to what I started last week.
I found myself doing it the other day: using the Santa Clause. "If you don't put those CDs back mister, I'm going to tell Santa!" Crap.
My pal Crafty, made this card with her own talented little fingers last year. After she had her second child 13 months after her first one (read the tale of her double uterus fiasco -- yes, you heard correctly -- here). In this photo, her second child is barely 6 months-old. Crafty makes time for these things. And she doesn't get all Martha Stewarty about it either. She just does it for fun.
Anyway, I just love this photo and look at it often because it makes me laugh. Dylan's utter devestation at being made to sit on the lap of the scary man in red. Sammie's patience and easygoing way. And the look in Santa's eyes is priceless.
It's amazing how we force Santa -- once a symbol of charity and generosity, now a symbol of consumerism and greed -- on our children at such a young age. People are already asking Nate, "Are you excited for Christmas?" Um... he's excited if he's getting banana in his boring cereal OK? He doesn't know what the fuck Christmas is. And I am not sure how I can teach him the true meaning of Christmas when everything around us is buy buy buy.
So I think what I shall start to do is this: every gift he gets a double of (or already has) I will put aside to give to a Christmas Wish organization next year. As he gets older, he may whine about this, wanting instead to exchange it for more stuff. And that's where the lesson comes in. Whaddya think? Yes, I also think he may resent me when he's older, but that's going to happen regardless.
I watched The Passion of the Christ recently for the first time. I am always at odds with my spiritual upbringing and my relationship with the idea of Christianity. While part of me adores the idea of unabashed faith, I see that fervent believers are those who do the best and WORST acts in our society. My heart wants to believe just enough to get me through, but my brain doesn't buy the stories or the evil acts that cloak themselves in the shroud of religion.
The film moved me and I thought about it as I imagined what I might do to those who stole my stroller. Then I remembered a simple suggestion. Love Thine Enemies. And I thought long and hard about the type of person who would steal a stroller. From a baby. Right before Christmas.
Whomever would do such a thing is in far worse shape than I. They either need money for Christmas, or a stroller for their baby, or are drunks or drug addicts, or punk ass kids having a laugh, or any combination of those. And so I thought, nope, I'm not going to hate on them. I'm going to hope that they find their way in life. Whether or not you believe, the root of these teachings is not evil, but a nugget of goodness and wisdom that anyone, of any faith or walk of life can take away with them. We just need to find a way to take the stigma out of the dogma - heh, always wanted to use both those in a sentence.
And then good ol' St. Nick made his first appearance of the season via a Christmas miracle. The generosity of someone I am only JUST getting to know. An angel in the form of a neighbour and fast-growing friend. A phone call to say she had a stroller she wasn't using that I was welcome to. It totally renewed my faith... in my fellow human being.
Merry Christmas friends.