Thursday, December 1, 2011

Baby, it's cold outside!

Welcome to December 2011, people. Only a little over one more calendar year before the much anticipated end of days. Please see Matthew 24:36.

I love the holiday season despite its ever-predictable progression. Every year it follows the same pattern no matter what you've planned, where you end up, or who you spend it with. The details are irrelevant. It begins with Thanksgiving; the otherwise rare sense of community and coalescence that we cherish and enjoy; the sudden urge to become a copious altruist; the time of year you can actually watch the numbers in your savings account gradually decreasing to zero. We gorge ourselves in devilishly delicious food and the occasional nap before embarking on the holiday past time known infamously as post-Thanksgiving decorating. And somewhere between food and decorating lies the gateway to an endless pool of shopping bags and receipt collecting. Decorating for the holiday usually doesn't come in droves, either. You'll bring out boxes and bags full of festoon new and old, shake the dust off you faux fir tree, and plug in last year's lights to make sure they're all still lit. I usually scowl in aggravation when I notice that a light is out in the middle of the strand; leaving me with only half a strand of lit lights. I should have expected such; this is also part of the predictable nature of the holiday season. You find yourself adding the Christmas music station to your dashboard presets, and humming or whistling this morning's song all day long. Not soon after it begins, you break out the claymation DVDs and plan when your friends and family will be over to watch them all. Eventually, the urge to cook and bake and reminisce about holidays passed consumes you, and you're lost in a whirl of Santa hats, cookies, pies, chocolate, and glitter.

This year is developing the same way. I spent Thanksgiving with David and his wonderful family: complete with great homemade dishes and a little football, followed by an unavoidable, yet revered night with Mallory and Brandon. I was left missing Maggs while she was figuratively lost in the middle of the Atlantic, but apparently I suffer from separation anxiety, so it's to be expected. I did happen, however, to break my own tradition for the first time since it began in 2002. It is quite commonplace for me to enjoy the essence of transient presence on a frequent basis, but nine years ago I made a habit out of dedicating my Thanksgiving to the city's homeless community. I started in my own kitchen by organizing plates of my family's leftovers, and delivering them in high-traffic areas for transients. Gradually, it progressed to volunteer work in soup kitchens, outreach events, and church-sponsored Thanksgiving spreads. Dejectedly, I was too wrapped up in my own gleeful Thanksgiving- before and after- to even remember that I was about to break tradition. Now, I'm fused to a miserable medley of listlessness and regret. Instead of serving God and His children, I was selfishly consumed in preparations for Christmas, and Black Friday shopping. Being an avid servant never even crossed my mind. Admittedly, it hadn't even crossed my mind until I started reflecting on the concept of holiday ordinance for this blog post.

Baby It's Cold Outside has been stuck in my head for a few days now. It may have something to do with the fact that it was a shocking 28 degrees in Tallahassee this morning, and in the 40's since Monday. The song had previously been a jumble of words that I never really took the time to learn; I'm usually just humming along. But I'm ready this year. And I'm finally bothered by the fact that my iPod is still in disrepair. I can't listen to my favorites on repeat. I'm stuck with one of maybe two Christmas radio stations in Tallahassee. You'd think a Genius would be able to get that iPod fixed in a timely manner (if he can even find it in his room at this point). I'm waiting, David Kossin!

Speaking of it being cold outside, I was walking down the stairs from the fourth floor at work, and thoughts of the Titantic (encouraged by a Brogan Museum venture last week) flooded my mind (pun certainly intended). The further I walked down, the more bone chilling the air in the concrete and steel stairwell became. I actually got a chill underneath my sweater. I could only imagine how much colder it was for the third class passengers in the below freezing waters of the Atlantic.

Beyond that, I'll be here in Tallahassee for the rest of the year. I start my first class of my masters this coming Monday. It'll be my only class until the beginning of January. Some APA research preparedness class, if I'm not mistaken. I feel like I've taken an entire semester worth of these kind of classes, so I expect to knock it out quickly. The only downside is that APA papers are graded for consistent accuracy, so no mistake can be overlooked. I'm still waiting for my second textbook. The next few weeks will be spent half-assing doing assignments and gift-making. That, and being fashionably late for a handful of holiday parties. I plan on becoming a modern Betty Crocker, as well. Mostly because one of my favorite things to do around Christmas has always been decorating sugar cookies. Sugar cookies, chocolate covered pretzel rods, lebkuchen (secret family recipe!), and pfeffernusse are in my immediate future.

I pray safe travels for everyone this month, and a season full of memories. Stay blessed.

1 comment:

seespeakshare said...

Thank you for this post!

I've been waiting in anticipation for what your beautiful mind would unfold - and once again you've succeeded in not disappointing me :)

It was good to hear about all you holiday plans...

But let me say this don't go too hard on yourself about breaking tradition. It what you did was a lovely way of sharing God's love in a practical way but GOD is not angry with you for enjoying your holiday and the good company you were surrounded with. It's been quite a year for you! Even in breaking tradition things are going according to God's plan and every day we live gives us a new opportunity to show the love of Christ to others in practical ways.

Seasons greeting my love!

Be blessed and stay warm because

"Baby its cold outside"