punchy line

...and he (Simon Peter) saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth ... not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. - Jn 20: 6-7
-Jn 20: 6-7

Friday, December 23, 2011

This Christmas, Why Not Stay Home?

I’m one who loves the holidays.

I’m also one who despises what they do to people, myself included.  For example, I find myself often becoming frustrated from the sudden scarcity of available parking spots anywhere and everywhere - and, judging by the lack of civility displayed in parking lots, it's clear that others feel the same way I do.   Also, the fact that I can’t seem to get anywhere on the road in any decent amount of time only adds to my already heightened sense of irritability and I sometimes find myself wishing things for my fellow drivers that have nothing to do with glad tidings or cheer. All of this combined with the downright frightening displays of self-entitlement by people and children (including my own little darlings, at times) is enough to make me want Christmas to disappear as quickly as the this year’s number one selling toy. Bah humbug!
The face that says it all.  Maybe he's upset that he
didn't even make the top ten sellers this year.

But really, I do like Christmas.

I know many of us travel during Christmas, and, for some, the inevitable visit to a local relative’s home is always looming.   Not to mention, that at some point, we have to do the grocery shopping and, being good Catholics, attend Christmas mass.

But outside of these necessary holiday rakings-across-the-hot-coals endeavors (except for Mass), this Christmas I’ve decided that what I want to do the most, what will ‘feed’ me and my family the most spiritually, and what will contribute the most to my family’s harmony away from the ‘gimme more' madding crowd is this: I’m going to stay home.  That is, I’m going to make it a point to stay indoors more than going out to buy more stuff.  I’ve already been practicing.

I did make one exception the other night when I went out to Adoration.  After the kids went to sleep, and the grace-inhibiting traffic on the road had abated, I took myself to see Jesus because, you know, He is the ‘reason for the…<gag>slurp<cough>,' Phew.  Caught myself before that cliché got out.

Where was I?  Oh, yes. There I was at Church, before Jesus, when I realized something I can only attribute to the Holy Spirit: there, in our Lord’s presence, I was still at home.  It’s not an elitist thing to say at all. 

I know we usually get all warm and fuzzy inside when we see nativity scenes, and understandably so: Christ was born.  But let’s not forget what that took.

What’s cool is that, despite things being, how shall we put it, less than ideal for the Holy Family during the the time of Our Lady's delivery, Jesus came anyway. And so to say our ‘home' is in Jesus’s presence is not to say that things are perfect or even nice, it’s to say Christ comes anyway.  And that’s ideal for any sinner.  He comes when we’re tired, down, disillusioned with humanity and cynical about everything.   Good thing too, or else we’d never get to open presents. 

Only kidding.   Sorry about that - I too am a victim of the din and dim of this time of year.  What? Is that Gentleman Jack in my eggnog?  Why yes, yes it is.

This Christmas, I highly recommend staying home and/or spending sometime adoring Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Even travelers can do the latter.  Either way, it's still 'home'.  It’s the same Christ that was wrapped in swaddling clothes and was laid in a manger, after all, only not as cute and wiggly.  And if you’re like me, the 'inserting yourself into the Christmas story' tactic just ends up with you being the donkey anyway, and so it’s nice to be with our Lord in the here and now, as I am presently, rather than imagining what my stink would’ve stunk like back then.


If you’ve already made plans to visit someone’s house, or go to a party, cancel them.  The exception to this is Christmas dinner at your grandparent's house where roast beef and yorkshire pudding abound.  Just saying. If you can’t do it this year, do it next year or some other year.  But do it sometime, and prepare to be surprised about how the Holy Spirit comes to invigorate your home in unexpected and beautiful ways.


  1. Really like this post. I actually have been slowing down and avoiding the stores this Advent season. Makes a big difference!

  2. Thanks, Allison! And good for you! It does make a difference! God bless you and yours! Merry Christmas!


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