Peace and Goodwill, Always….

I just wish Catholics didn’t have Mass at midnight on Christmas. I’ve often felt the congregation should be huddle outside, somewhere an hour before dawn, deep in the cold of darkness so that when the liturgy is wildly solemn, instead of hearing, singing, praying….you could slowly see the sunrise, you could see the promise and brilliance of a new dawn. Finally, a new dawn. You might be inclined to dance, laugh, cry with joy.

“Unveil to us the face of the true spiritual sun
Hidden by a disk of golden light

That we may know the truth
And do our whole duty
As we journey to thy sacred feet”

(The Gayatri)

If Christmas Mass were like that, I’d beat my agoraphobia to a pulp just to attend the advent of the sun (son).  Instead, I watched a live stream of Christmas Mass at midnight last night…as all good boys should do.

There wasn’t a lot of fanfare here at the Patrick-Champlain house this year. At first, it was that dreaded feeling that we just didn’t have the Christmas spirit. Something was off, something wasn’t clicking. For weeks we’d kinda of forget Christmas was coming. On my end, busy knit knit knitting (to the point of my ring finger blistering towards the end….was gonna show a pic, but ewww gross!!!). On Phillip’s side he was working as much as he could to bring in as much bacon before it all dries up. In effect, we both were. We knew the coming weeks would be dry as a bone in terms of income, for knitters who sale their wares, and cooks who rely on tons of people coming to a restaurant to keep the hours steady.

We did the best we could, but never seemed to GET the Christmas moment. We finally decided to put up our Christmas “bush,” (an old boxwood in a pot we keep outside, just gorgeous when lit up with all of our Dollar Store ornaments), and in the process, with the calm glimmering of our laughing at the absurdity of it, the Christmas spirit fell upon us. We had not laughed in a while, we had not felt peace in a while. The frenetic pace of the Christmas race has plagued us, and we fell victim to it, nearly mortally. But, putting up our little bush we could see the peace that is important to remember on days like these. All that rush to get to a moment just seems to leave the moment some kind of let down.

“Dear God
Hope you got the letter and…
I pray you can make it better down here”

(Andy Partridge)

This day comes once a year to lead us not a moment, but to an important reminder: “Peace on Earth, and good will towards man….” And we spent the last five weeks never once really hearing that; the grinding of my teeth and Phillip’s quick footed step towards purpose was too loud to hear the whispering of what the sunrise would bring: peace and good will….

We forgot all about that until we sat down to have our Christmas dinner.

So, as Phillip and I close out this Christmas Day with the lights a touch lower so we may enjoy the lights, indulging in a simple cottage pie, we wish you peace and offer only good will. We truly hope we give as many people the same beautiful light and protection that you’ve given us.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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  1. Gregory and Phillip….. we had tator tot hot dish yesterday for our Christmas dinner!! Simple food is the best!! Love your Christmas message. Midnight mass…..Didn’t know you are Catholic…… me, too, or as I say “recovering Catholic”….Bless you and Phillip and Have a Happy New Year!!

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