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A few years ago, when I was working as an RA in Germany, I remember driving some of the students from the dorm to the church service.  The kids were complaining about having to go to the Christmas service (it was around a week or two before Christmas, but the last church service before the kids went home for the holidays).  They wanted to know why they had to go, why they had to hear the same story again and again because they already knew it.  Which is a fair cop, I think, although I didn't say so at the time, because I'm a big believer that your faith is at its worst when it's crammed down somebody else's throat, especially someone who really doesn't want to be there. 

In 30 years, I've sat through a lot of Christmas services, a lot of church musicals, and heard the story about Jesus being born time and time again.  It's easy for me to see why the kids didn't want to go to church that morning.  But I think a lot of that has to do with the delivery.  For example, I don't really know anyone who complains about Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown being on year after year.  And Linus drops the whole Christmas story in maybe a minute in that whole movie.  Every time I watch it, it feels completely genuine and leaves me with a sense of wonder and awe I don't often get from going to church.  In fact, I think the arguement can be made that Linus's take on the story is one of the best versions of Jesus' birth out there, second only to the Gospel of Luke.  Anyone can watch, and I don't think I've ever met anyone who's  offended by it.  It's everything good about the holidays.

But we don't have to keep telling the same story over and over again.  Merry Christmas Charlie Brown would've been pretty worthless if all we got is Linus monologuing.  And variety is the way to go for me, so I've linked some stories for Christmas you might dig.  I stayed up 'til the midnight hour reading Matt Wallace's Failed Cities Monologues: Hath a Darkness at Variant Frequencies, which was an excellent way to start off the holiday.  I've also discovered that there's new Mur Lafferty and Greg Van Eekhout Christmas stories on Escape Pod, so it's a very nice Christmas indeed.  Because stories are what Christmas is all about to me. 

Last night, we brought in Christmas by hitting our church's Christmas Eve service.  It's probably one of Emma's favorite type of services all year long because you get to sing Christmas Carols in it (although Claire was  a little disappointed we didn't sing Up on the Rooftop at church.  And after singing the First Noel, she wanted to sing Yeswell).

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!!!



( 5 eyeball kicks — kick me )
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 26th, 2007 12:57 am (UTC)
Merry Christmas, Dave, and a Happy Yeswell to all!
Dec. 26th, 2007 01:48 am (UTC)
Somewhere I have a copy of the Christmas episode of Grizzly Adams which I would put up against the Charlie Brown Christmas as one of the best televised telling of the Christmas story. I only wish I knew where that tape was.

Merry Christmas and happy Boxing Day.
Dec. 26th, 2007 10:37 am (UTC)
Merry Christmas, a day late!
Dec. 26th, 2007 04:31 pm (UTC)
Nodding about faith--wise words.

Best wishes to you and yours!
( 5 eyeball kicks — kick me )

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