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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

Jesus is the Reason for the Season...or Whatever

Andrea enjoys Christmas lights. Perhaps more than the average person. We usually spend at least one night during the Christmas season driving around to view the lights. Andrea mercilessly grades them. There’s no curve. Calling LED lights and abomination and scoffing if people mix big and small bulbs, LED and regular. Recently, we happened by a house with an enormous cross fashioned in white lights on the side of the home. I imagined their neighbors, like the neighbors of Clark Griswold, blinded as the crossed beamed into their home. “Ugh.” Andrea groaned upon seeing the large, white cross of lights. “I mean, I get that Jesus is the reason for the season...or whatever. But, really?” A bit later in the holiday season, we worked on getting our holiday cards out. Andrea addresses our cards by hand which is certainly slower than labels but it makes for a more deliberate process where you reflect upon each person to whom you are sending a card. Often, their address has changed, a result of tragedy or triumph - divorce or a new home. Some card recipients have had situations befall them that we’re very much aware of - the death of a loved one, a health struggle or scare, a new job. And there is always that small group of people who don’t make the cut to receive a holiday card this year although they may have in the past. You know you’ve run a pen through someone’s name, at some point, for some reason. And undoubtedly, someone’s run a pen through our name at one point. It may be as simple as falling out of touch or as complex as a broken relationship. Seeing the names of friends and relatives in black and white makes me realize that for every awareness there is so much playing out in people’s lives that we don’t see - that we’re not aware of. The things we shouldn’t or can’t reveal - maybe ever or maybe in the span of time from one Christmas to another. We all have at least one of those things we carry. Things that aren’t as visible as a beaming cross. So if you’re carrying something like that, I hope you find some time to set it down & get some respite from it. Or maybe you can set it down altogether and not carry it into 2019. Andrea and I stole away for some respite ourselves in the midst of the holiday season. We pulled out of our driveway on Friday evening and left our home a little messier than I’d normally care to pre-holiday. And I really didn’t care. We piled the dogs into the car with more things than we will need or that we have space for in the tiny house we rented via A “getaway” rental is small, so go with someone you like. There’s no TV so you’re probably going to talk to the person your with so choose your travel companion wisely. There is a small, wireless speaker that we’ve used to listen to Christmas music. A handful of books and suggestions about what to do in a small, TV-less space with no-WiFi — just in case it’s been so long that you have been in such a space you can’t recall. We’ve completed the provided Madlib which resulted in the invention of the swear/expression, “Cocksucker Pop Tart.” (Photo’s later - I’m roughing it, people!).

On Saturday, we checked out the Blasty Bough Brewery. I sat in the car with the dogs while Andrea scoped out the situation. The brew dog, Charlie Mopps, came out to greet us. Charlie is a wild man. Andrea pointed out that proceeds from the tip jar at the bar go to his obedience training. If you’re in the area, I suggest you tip very generously. Andrea, also a harsh grader of beers, reports that the beer is very good. So, if you’re into Christmas because you believe Jesus is the reason for the season, or whatever, have yourself a merry one. And if you’re not into Christmas, happy holidays & all the best as the sun sets on 2018.

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