-Posted by Isaac
I'm not a big fan of Christmas.
My family and my poor wife know this all too well so I try to keep my complaints subdued to only once or twice an hour:
The ridiculousness of it all, the mad rush, the travel, the nasty weather (it's never white!), the infinite Christmas cards, the fake laughs, non-funny jokes and surface conversation, the family stress, the family expectations, the family..., the dumb songs and thoughtless shows, the sugared-up bratty kids, the marital stress (I'll take partial blame for that one.), the intermittent churchiness, the pretend reverence, the insane consumerism (it's ok if you're buying honey), the rabid materialism, the nutty trends, the stupid fashions, the stampede of plastic throw-away toys, the expense, the let-down, the endless thank-you letters...
(Ok. Done for this hour.)
It's just too easy. Christmas Time-- the target is big and fat, the prey is slow. Too easy to be a cynic about Christmas. Especially for a naturally gifted complainer like myself.
So I'm not going to go that route with this post.
Instead, I'll try to do what most of you manage to do every year: find true holiday joy and love in spite of the annual Christmas misery. I'm going to give you some uplifting music,
(Yes, Fredric Handel!)
and I'm going to tell you the non-cynical Christmas truth: I feel extremely blessed to have three healthy beautiful children, a fourth on the way, a lovely, gracious and patient wife, a wonderful extended family, and a thriving small business. Many loyal customers I've gotten to know over the years, many more I've yet to meet. Thanks to all of you. Christmas Time just magnifies all of this. Truth.
Early December 25th: and they're off...
The long view: I'm so happy that we live in a place and that we were born in a notch of time where complaining about overabundance is even possible. It's truly a charmed life.
Breakfast at Grandma's.
We live like kings and queens... yet we're just average people. What a moment in history! The season helps to burn this realization into me.
|Grandpa sweetens things up|
We arrived at home on Christmas eve to find:
|There truly is a Santa Claus!|
I know just who this is from... and I'm thinking I'll start a future Honey and Beer blog post with the story of our little Christmas tradition. Stay tuned!
The extended Barnes Christmas:
I'm not overly smart or gifted or talented. Pretty much average. Yet I (we all, to some degree) have it so good. Luck? I can't help but feel lucky. And even through the cynicism, I can't help but feel Christmassy.
|57 family members at my brother's place. Wow!|
|Ah, Christmas in the Midwest. |
The adult gifts: jam and honey
The kid gift exchange. Some years bring tears. This year it went pretty smooth.
|"It's official: I'm a princess!"|
|"It's official: I'm bored."|