The Christmas Block
It's not that I don't want to write anything. It's that I can't. I sit down to express a thought and it's only half-formed. I can't coax anything to the surface long enough to turn it into post-worthy material. I think that's largely due to having Christmas giant on the horizon. This time of year I'm always in a potpourri of moods. I'm excited to see my family, gleeful about indulging in traditions and nervous about all the year-end things that are looming. Each happy thought about opening stockings on Christmas morning is followed with an anxious mental notice to myself about tracking down all my I-9s for tax season. Any time I get thrilled to think about going to my favourite restaurants for Christmas meals I also instantly think of my annual medical deductable starting over again in January. And I know that means I will successfully avoid the emergency room until, say, January 15th or so. I think I'm the only human being alive who actually runs a tab at their local hospital.
I also think the "true meaning of Christmas" is kind of depressing in a way. I know that we're endlessly grateful that Baby Jesus came to earth for us and that all of the carols about how He is such a sweet baby who never cries and sleeps in heavenly peace have created this happy image of a tranquil baby that goes well with a winter night. There are no holiday songs about a scared twelve-year-old girl having her innards ripped out while lying in the stink of a barn. There are no joyful songs about cutting (or biting) the cord and looking for water to wash the gunk from the crying baby, about wrapping him in an old towel and putting him in an overgrown dog dish. And nothing about the pain that came after. The struggles of a Godman who had to contend with human pain and ultimately die a grisly, horrible death. I think Christmas sanitises Jesus too much. Even Silent Night makes Him sound less like God and more like a hunk of meat. Tender and mild? Is this God made incarnate for our sins or well-marinated venison? I absolutely hate that line of that song. I've been enlisting my brother and sister in a campaign to find a different rhyme for "child".
So here I am, happy and anxious and eager for Christmas to get here and sad that it will so soon be over.