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Monday, December 08, 2014

Refusing to Release 2014

It's difficult to wrap my already warped head around the fact that December is here, the New Year is rapidly approaching and Christmas is ready to stomp on us like a bug.  Where in the hell did 2014 go?  As a matter of fact, where did the last decade escape to?  It's true that the older we get, the quicker time seems to pass and how we get lost in the minutia of the moment and forget the bigger picture.  Supersonic, speed of light kind of travel is what we're talking about here, kids, and when that time is gone, you can't get it back.  So, again I ask, where in the hell did 2014 go to and how do we get a posse together to hunt that bugger down?

I was fortunate enough to spend some quality time with my kids this weekend and Maddie and Mason never cease to amaze me.  Being 17 and 18 respectively, they have had some pretty wild life experiences already and it has given them a perspective you wouldn't expect from teenagers.  They lost their grandfather a couple years ago and additionally, they are kids who have "survived" divorce.  We watched some Netflix, laughed a bit and talked about their work.  Without going into too much detail, we had some pizza and kind of relaxed.  They understood what it meant to "relax" - I'm not talking about being lazy, but rather simply enjoying one another's company in a stress-free environment.  It was one of those serendipitous moments that I will take to my grave.  My hope is that you get to experience those once in a while too.

Mondays when the Oklahoma legislature is not in session are an opportunity for legislators to show their constituents that they are still important, even if there is nothing of importance on their agenda.  For example, the fact that today, the members of the House are going through the "office lottery" where they get office assignments.  To the average taxpayer, it sounds more like a fraternity initiation than it does actually getting something done that is related to the will of the people.  Until the legislature's session begins, we can expect all kinds of frivolity from those who are elected, but lack self-esteem and are unsure of themselves in their elected position.  After the session begins, prepare for Romper Room.

War on Christmas
This time of year, every year, Fox News and its pundits proclaim that there is an alleged war on Christmas and it has become agonizing.  There was even a book penned a few years ago by one of their talking heads with the same title and yeah, it sold a lot of copies.  So, is there a war on Christmas?  I don't believe so and here's why:  If there was to be a war on Christmas, it should come from the members of the Church who know Church history and see the holiday for what it is - a secularization, an adoptive ceremony with other than orthodox roots.  One of the Pope's declared December 25th to be Christmas, and there it was.  Unfortunately, the date is inaccurate to the Biblical account because there is not a single "harvest" taking place in winter.  Unless you're harvesting deer, but that's not mentioned in Scripture.  But, do I think that we abolish the holiday?  Heavens no!  I just say that it's time to put it into perspective.  That's all.  And no, there is no bloody war on Christmas.

War on My Christmas
Admittedly, the holidays (I say "holidays" because I speak of the time from Thanksgiving to New Years) are kind of rough on me and have been for many years.  I know it's rather childish, but since the loss of my mother when I was 14, the holiday season just doesn't feel or maintain the same joy.  Sure, I've been able to pull it off for the kids and I love every minute of it, but at the same time, there is a darkness that accompanies the holidays.  I can't seem to shake it, have no idea why in the heck it's there with such intensity and I really don't know if I will power through it and put it to bed before I leave this planet.

There's No Place Like Home
During this time of year, we all think about "home" and creating a "home" environment.  For some, there is a big facade created where the house is decorated perfectly with Christmas trappings, the Scentsy has its holiday scents filling the air and the events for the days to come are rigidly planned and organized.  And when the time comes, God help you if you miss one of your cues or you don't follow the Happy Holiday Script.  On the other hand, there are places where there is no focus on pomp and circumstance, but rather a sanctuary where the very essence of Christmas is embraced. No one is afraid to share their love openly, no one cares what you wear - they just care that you're there.  Those are the places we call "home."  Many of those memories for me, those "home" moments, have taken place with my kids - all of them.  I just wish that we could have those moments in my home state of Washington.

2014 is just about behind us...let's say goodbye in style and do what we struggle to do - just let it all go.