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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’


We had a really great vacation with family over the holidays. They went up on the 17th and I followed behind on Christmas Day. There was plenty of time with family as 4 of CavWife’s 5 siblings were there for New Year’s and the annual White Elephant Gift exchange which gets more interesting as the kids get older and start participating. For the 2nd year in a row I got the Taylor ham- a NJ breakfast meat that I have grown to love.

One sibling built a pond this summer and this winter it was a skating pond. So our daughters learned how to skate. The boys were not so inclined, though the youngest enjoyed playing on the ice and with a hockey stick by the time we left. There was a guys night out as the 4 of us went out to Bar Vino for a few beers and appetizers. I like for us to get away and talk: sometimes serious and sometimes not.

There were a few snow storms, including Hercules who dumped over a foot of powder on us. As a result there was some sledding. On the downside, I didn’t have a good window of snow-less driving to visit my parents. My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease this fall. Since I haven’t driven in snow much in the last 20 years I really didn’t want to get stuck in the mountains of VT in a snow storm. Another factor was the older CavGirl’s birthday and our 12th anniversary. Not really the days I want to be away from family to visit my parents.

Since we had an early flight home, my in-laws used some of their points to get us a hotel room for the night before we left. Sunday night, after one last get together and skate party the snow turned to rain as the temperatures soared. Monday was the great meltdown before the temperatures plummeted as a result of the arctic blast that crippled the country. It was slippery near the house but after we got off the hill the roads were much better. The only problem was our rear tire. While loading the Envoy I realized the tire was nearly flat. Usually my father-in-law is all over these things. This winter I was the one to catch 3 really low tires. The other 2 were on our lunch trip to Glens Falls. Up there in the mountains, there are no gas stations right around the corner. I thought I could get to Warrensburg and inflate the tire. The last 100 yards or so I could hear the thump-thump-thump because it had moved past low to officially flat. I filled it and off we were to meet our in-laws in Albany for dinner and they would drive both vehicles back to their home.

While driving we learned that our friend who was going to pick us up had his own flight home canceled and was re-booked to arrive home Wednesday. He’d be stranded in Dallas. So we left a message with another friend to see if they could pick us up.

I made a big mistake though. There was no sun on the way to Warrensburg so I kept my sun glasses in my briefcase. By the time we got to Glens Falls the sun was relentlessly beating into my right eye as we drove south to Albany. As we drew closer a migraine began to set in. I felt pretty lousy. It was also much colder in Albany as we unloaded the Envoy at the hotel.

We heard from our friend that she was willing to pick us up, but the other friend had gotten a flight from Dallas to Phoenix so he would be home in time to pick us up. He would have to go to the airport anyway since his bags were going to Tucson.

CavWife had inadvertently started the movie for the kids that we rented from iTunes. It was now going to expire the next morning before we got on the flight. So the kids started to watch Despicable Me 2 while I napped. Around 4:30 we left to meet with my in-laws for dinner at Moe’s. We didn’t want to eat too late since we didn’t want the roads to freeze on their way home. We love Moe’s and wish there was one in Tucson. CavWife got her usual John Coctostan, while I got the Home Wrecker which I re-dubbed the Hotel Wrecker. Then it was time for good byes in the cold.

The kids were going to shower before they finished the movie. Still feeling the effects of the migraine, I sat in front of the TV. That was when two things happened.

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While we were engaged, CavWife and I discussed any number of things.  One of them being… Christmas.  We both wanted to de-emphasize gifts for the kids to try and keep the focus on Jesus.  We are not anti-Santa, as though he were demonic or anything.  It was just that we know the human heart, and it is covetous.

So, we really haven’t talked about Santa with the kids either way.  He shows up in a few stories we read to them.  We have not stopped and said, “now kids, you know Santa…”.  We’ve sort of let sleeping dogs lie.

Fastforward to CavGirl’s dentist appointment this week.  The hygenist brings the kids back alone for the first part of the appointment.  That was when the small talk happened, and Pandora’s Box was opened, never to be closed again.

I came back to meet with the dentist and hygenist.  The dentist asks about what she wants from Santa.  Did she send him a list?  “We really don’t emphasize Santa.”

The hygenist chips in, “she wants a Barbie.”  I’m sensing implanted memories here, because she doesn’t have a Barbie, and has NEVER asked for a Barbie.

After we get home, she keeps wondering what Santa will bring- as if her parents and grandparents don’t come through for her.  Once or twice she mentions  “she of the outlandish, impossible figure”- Barbie.

The seed of covetousness found fertile soil in her heart.  Discontent may now set in.  There may be drama, crying and whining.  These people assume everyone in America is all about Santa, and now may have tainted our family celebration.  I might be bummed.  But I know that I do have to pray that covetousness will die in their hearts, and mine.

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Sounds like the forces of agnosticism and atheism are growing here in America (and elsewhere) to make Christmas a non-Christian event.

What would happen if you took the Christ out of Christmas?  You’d have Mas, which in Spanish means “more”, which is exactly what Roberto Duran didn’t want when he uttered “no mas”.

This would be exactly what Christmas has become- an exercise in consumption and greed.  Mas would just be about keeping the economy going by increasing spending, giving gifts to our kids, loved ones and friends.  Drop the tree, if you want, and sing songs about Santa or the holidays, and you’ve pretty much got the idea.  Mas is about more, more, more.  The inoffensive excuse to spend money.  Who could argue with that?

[okay, aside from the obvious- Jesus and those who love Him, which means they are turning their backs on greed among other things.]

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