Archive for December 23rd, 2007

This was our conversation over brunch. It was prompted by our catching up on the little slips of paper with Advent assignments on them. One slip said, “Call the church office and say, ‘Merry Christmas!’ If no one answers, leave a message.” Another said, “Make a list of people who need your prayers; keep it on your fridge, and pray for them.”

As LG went to make the phone call, I was thinking of a post that I’ll publish soon, in which I go on about the Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays thing. I asked Jif, “Are you offended if someone says, ‘Happy Holidays’ to you?”

“No. Not at all.”

“Have you ever said, ‘Merry Christmas’ to a Jewish person?”

“Yes, a few times. Not knowing . . . ”

“And were they offended?”

“No. They recognized my intention…”

“See, that’s all I’m saying. Would you be offended if I wished you Happy Hanukkah?”

“Nope.” He then starts singing a very catchy Kwanzaa ditty that LG taught us a couple of years ago.

LG, having made the phone call, and now sitting at the table ready to make our prayer list, says, “One of the cafeteria ladies just says, ‘Happy Happy!’ so she doesn’t offend anybody.”

I offer, “Sometimes I say ‘Happy Merry…’ for the same reason.”

Jif says, “You can do better than that . . . make up something that combines everything…”

“Like . . . Merry Hanukkwanzaa?”

“Yes, but you have to get Christmas in there…”

“I did. With the ‘Merry.'”

“No, that’s not enough. How about, ‘Merry Hanukkwanzaamas?'”

“Yea! No one should be offended by that . . . ”

“Oh, some still will be. But if you say ‘Merry Hanukkwanzaamas!’ to someone and they take offense . . . well that person will just not be happy no matter what you say, so you should kill them.”

I laugh, and LG shakes her head. “You two are talking about killing people while I’m making a prayer list, you know.”

Here, I get to use one of my very favorite Hillbillian expressions. “Yes, but only people who NEED KILLIN’!”

“I’m putting you two on the list,” she threatens.

Somehow (oh, believe me, I KNOW how) this leads to a discussion of my family of origin, the Weinerschnitzels. “Put them all on the list. They all need prayer.”

“I’m part Weinerschnitzel,” says LG.

“Yea, and be thankful you’re only part. If you were PURE Weinerschnitzel . . . ” Jif says.

“Is that where you get the ‘killing people’ thing? Do Weinerschnitzels want to kill people?” she asks.

“Mmm . . . no. They don’t spend much time with the ‘want to,’ part of it. They pretty much just do it!” Jif and I laugh at my family, as we have over the years, to keep from crying. There is much LG doesn’t know.

“Fine. The Weinerschnitzels are on the list. We should also pray that Uncle Paul [Jif’s brother] doesn’t kill anyone.” Paul is visiting his in-laws this holiday, and yesterday at the family breakfast, he expressed a fear of homicidal inclinations emerging during the visit.

“Yes, put Uncle Paul on the list. . . ”

About this time, LG tosses a brunch remnant into Biscuit’s dish. It is a gluten-free waffle. Don’t even get me started on this gluten-free thing. The waffle is hard as a freakin’ rock.

We now have, on our fridge, a prayer list:

  • Susie, in hospital [not me; this is the mother of one of LG’s friends]
  • Stacey, expecting a baby
  • Weinerschnitzels (they want to kill people)
  • Uncle Paul (don’t kill Janie)
  • Biscuit (trying to eat hard waffle)

Yea, she’s gonna need therapy.

A disclaimer: To our knowledge, no one on either the Weinerschnitzel or the Fairchild side of the family has ever actually been convicted killed anyone who didn’t need killin’. No, really. No one.


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peace on earth

“Christmas gift suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.” — Oren Arnold

“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.” — attributed to a 7-year-old named Bobby

“Isn’t it funny that at Christmas something in you gets so lonely for – I don’t know what exactly, but it’s something that you don’t mind so much not having at other times.” — Kate L. Bosher

“In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!'” — Dave Barry

“People can’t concentrate properly on blowing other people to pieces if their minds are poisoned by thoughts suitable to the twenty-fifth of December.” — Ogden Nash

“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.” — Agnes M. Pharo

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’til his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?” — Dr. Seuss

“I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the world seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses.” — Taylor Caldwell

Luke 2:10-14

A getting-ready-for-Christmas vignette from the Fairchild household. Jif and LG are getting ready for church. Susie will decide later if she can make it. LG is frantically wrapping gifts for church friends, teachers, etc.:

Stumble, stumble, crash, thud! “Daddy! Why did you pile all those boxes up there?!”

“To get them out of the way.”

“Well . . . they’re NOT out of the way!”

“Let me rephrase . . . to get them out of MY way.”

Biscuit runs through, crunching something. It’s a plastic Easter egg. “He’s trying . . . wrong holiday, Biscuit!”

Christmas is coming, ready or not . . .

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