And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the Angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone all round them: and they were sore afraid.
And the Angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
(As told by Linus Van Pelt)
I hate Christmas.
Not the quiet, humble remembrance of the miracle of the birth of our Savior Jesus of Nazareth, but the over-hyped, commercialized insanity that has so thoroughly corrupted most holidays in these modern times. I can almost understand why Oliver Cromwell banned the holiday and everything associated with it back in 1647.
It has gotten completely out of hand. It was bad enough when Halloween decorations were getting pushed aside by the initial onslaught of the tinsel horde back in October. It got worse when Thanksgiving was effectively co-opted into a launching board for the full-on insanity. Now we arrive at the Blessed Eve and everyone has apparently lost their sugarplum-addled minds.
It's impossible to walk into any grocery store, bookstore, or any other place of business and conduct any normal activity without getting run over, elbowed, shoved or otherwise violently ravaged by masses of panicked, brainless idiots acting like this year's Christmas is the Second Coming of Christ Hisownholyself.
Driven into a rabid lather by a constant bombardment of jingles, flyers, ads and coupons, the masses are stampeding like some monstrous hybrid of Cattle and Lemming, storming through the parking lots like they were interstate highways and jamming every store, post office and roadway in a desperate attempt to compensate for their total lack of foresight, planning and basic intelligence.
And the rampaging asshattery don't stop there. Someone always has to screw things up whenever there's a gathering of people enjoying themselves. Can't have the children singing Christmas songs in school. Reams of restrictions on decorations at work. The full-scale excommunication of greeting people with"Merry Christmas." Invading armies of athiests, ne'er-do-wells, terrorists and their Liberal enablers armed to the teeth with Nativity lawsuits and worse. Monks and priests duking it out over chair arrangements in the Church of the Holy Sepulcre- you think I'm kidding!
Enough already. Someone spank all these overgrown children and send every last one of them crying in shame to their beds without their supper and with sure promises of stockings full of ashes and switches to greet them come morning. It's time to bring back Reason this Season.
I find that the less I do for Christmas, the more I enjoy it. Every year, I have scaled back my holiday efforts, and every year since, a little more joy returns from the void. No more visiting relatives I can't stand to be around the rest of the year. No more huge spending sprees on extravagant crap no one wants or uses. No more fighting over decorations, wrestling with strings of lights, toy-store meltdowns, or last-minute rushing about.
All I want for Christmas is Peace and Quiet. I want to hear the stillness of snow falling on pines, the crackle of the fire, the soft breath of family snuggled up next to me, and most important of all, the still, small voice which God uses to bring hope, comfort and joy to those who listen for it.
I wish the same for all my friends and loved ones, too. I didn't get around to sending as many postcards as I would've liked to this year, not because I don't care but because I was busy living life. No oversight or offense at all, just an overflowing plate of life and blessings. I've had a lot going on this year. Holidays happen once a year; life is what happens between the holidays. Don't forget to live.
Remembering why we celebrate, who we celebrate, and above all praising God in the highest, Peace; Have a Safe, Quiet, Happy Christmas.