Santa Before Christ
I was driving around the other day and passed one of those large outdoor Nativity scenes in someone's front yard. The homeowners added a kneeling Santa Claus to the scene.
Some people get really angry and upset when they see Santa Claus added to Nativity scenes. I don't. Whether the representation is the commercialized Santa Claus, or his true self, St. Nicholas, makes no difference to me. It makes perfect sense to me that Santa would kneel before The Christ Child. Whether it's the rampant commercialism of the Advent shopping season represented by Santa or the devout Faith of St. Nicholas-all must bow down before The True Meaning of Christmas.
The True Meaning of Christmas is, after all, nothing but a child. So simple, but so much more than that.
I said "all must bow down before The True Meaning of Christmas". Here, perhaps, we have another "pro multis" argument? Christ was born to all, but not all will care or seek understanding. When some of us say "Santa before Christ" we mean it-not in a good way.
I used to crash the day after Christmas Day with a thud like coming down off of cocaine. All that shopping and chaos between Black Friday and Christmas Eve-all that activity that seemed to suggest a life full of purpose and meaning-ultimately, as empty as the opened boxes in the trash on the Feast of St. Stephen.
I finally realized, after over 35 years of recovery, that Christmas Day is not the end-it's the beginning. Really, with The Christ Child there is no end-only endless possibilities. Even, Good Friday was not the end.
Living in the liturgical year, as opposed to the secular holiday and shopping year, has given me more reasons for living-it's given me, it always gives me, something to look forward to.
The Christmas Octave (the 12 days after Christmas Day) give us some of the greatest and most meaningful Feasts in the Calendar-do your self a favor and don't overlook them.
Speaking of calendars, please note that because Christmas Day is on a Saturday that does NOT mean you get to skip Mass on Sunday. Plan ahead, you will be at Mass for two days of the next two weekends. New Year's Day is the Solemenity of Mary, Mother of God-a Holy Day of Obligation-so on New Year's weekend you'll be at Mass on Saturday and Sunday as well. But you knew that, right?
For this coming week, rather than make yourself crazy trying to get all that last minute shopping done, why don't you make yourself crazy trying to get in to to see a priest to receive the Sacrament of Confession before Christmas? What better gift to your self?
God bless us every one.