Stress. That's the word of the weekend and coming days, Internet. Stress. Things I still have to do:
*a million grades, which must all be uploaded into the system before I go home on Friday.
*a holiday chorus thing to chaperone.
*student gifts to buy and pull together, coworker gifts to pull together and hand out.
*my own Christmas shopping.
*still haven't paid my doctor's office because i still don't own a single stamp...why do they not have an online option?! this is 2015.
*probably 10,000 other things I committed to and can't remember I said I'd do them until someone shows up expecting me to be ready and I'll be all: Oooh, yeah! I DID say I'd do that. Crap! Hold on while I scramble around here like a lunatic and get it together for you.
Holidays are not my favorite. I like Christmas Eve. I like the candlelight service and the quiet when everyone's asleep. Other than that: pfffft. Stick it where the sun don't shine.
C and I decided I'd keep Miss M for Christmas Eve and Christmas. He'll take her the eve before Christmas Eve so she can spend the day with him. Then I'll take her that night for candlelight services (aka: the one time Amy sets foot in a church) and the following day for Christmas.
She asked if we could, all three of us, wake up together on Christmas morning, and I started weeping. Because she's asked before, and I said no, but tonight it became real, that this would be the first time in 8 years we haven't been together on Christmas Eve and Christmas. Firsts are always the hardest, right? At least that's what I've always found to be true about the grieving process.
Why is Christmas so big? I didn't feel like this on Thanksgiving.
My vision is that, eventually, C and I will be the bestest of friends. He'll meet someone new and I'll meet someone new, and we'll all gather around a Christmas tree on Christmas Day - him, me, Miss M, the new people and any of their children they may have. And we'll sing "Welcome Christmas" like the Whos down in Whoville do it.
....but then this is coming from a person who really wants to walk around barefoot in hippie clothing, playing a tambourine, singing Mr. Tambourine Man. Free love. Free and gentle and all-encompassing love. But without the LSD. And I like to take daily showers.
In other news, I went with family and friends to a live Nativity the other night. I really like Nativities; I have two in my house. I'm an agnostic about the Nativity story - don't think it really happened, but I like the symbolism/metaphysical concepts. (I read the Bible metaphysically, not literally.) The Nativity, the birth of a baby who's going to save the world from itself, feels like Hope to me. And I like the idea of being born in a barn, surrounded by gentle animals and fragrant hay (and, yes yes yes...the pungent smell of manure. I can hear you out there correcting me - stop it. Stop crapping on my starry scene of Love and Hope!) And live nativities are fun because they have cute domesticated animals in them. Like a petting zoo, but holier.
At this live Nativity, there was no touching. And you took a hayride around the Baptist church's amazingly large wooded backyard, in which they'd basically re-built Israel in the time of baby Jesus. Except these are Baptists, so they don't really care about the birth stuff; they're more focused on the killin' and the resurrectin' stuff. Our hayride would stop at various points for the actors in the scene/stage area to recite biblical passages and also we'd listen to a Baptist hymn that went with whatever it was. Each of these lasted about a minute. But at the part Jesus is on a cross, that was 3 minutes. And the part where he escapes from the drainage pipe cave, and is lifted up 500 feet amongst the tall trees on a hydraulic lift? That was a whole 5 minutes, at least. Four and a half being him being slowly raised to Heaven, where he shall sitteth on the right hand of the LORD.
My brother and I are terrible heathens. In addition, I'd like to note we ate at a Mexican restaurant beforehand, I had one Texas margarita, not even the big size, but I think they poured half a bottle of Tequila in it. Now I have some pictures of me and my kid and my niece and nephew and my friends' kids all making duck face selfies with a fake baby Jesus that we passed while waiting in line for 2 hours to see the real Nativity. And because this was Baptist, before we pulled away, we all had to pray but I don't remember exactly what about. I think there was a part in there about bringing the drunk heathens sitting on the middle row of hay, and particularly the one who encouraged the children she was with to do hip hop poses and duck faces with wooden cutouts of the Holy Family earlier, to repent and come to Jesus...but I can't be sure. The tequila was wearing off, but I wouldn't be sober again til the Resurrection. And so I did not close my eyes during the prayer though I bowed my head because I didn't need that kind of judgment from Jesus' people right then. I mean, I love historical Jesus (if there was one) a lot, but I don't think he was magic. I believe in a Something, but I don't think the Baptists would like my version of It.
My brother is just a sarcastic ass, who is always looking for the jokey joke. Seriously, we can't take him anywhere. I didn't see them, but apparently there were apples at The Last Supper scene, and he swears Israel didn't have those in Jesus' time. And he cracked up when the shepherds messed up and you could hear them in their mics whispering about starting over. And he could barely contain himself at the resurrection scene because he swore if Jesus rose straight up out of those bushes...and sure enough, right on cue. Then it took Jesus like a whole 4 minutes to get to Heaven. Which, it seems he'd have been able to go a lot faster. I mean, he's dead/magical Jesus now.
It's okay. We know we are not going to enjoy the fruits of Heaven because of our attitudes. Plus, we're Presbyterians.
Confession: I had a really long blog entry here about choices and consequences. But it was discombobulated and sort of preachy. But lately I've been thinking a lot about choices and their consequences. The Law of Physics says for every action there's a reaction, and that pretty much sums up choices and consequences. You make a choice, you get a consequence, so choose wisely. You choose to ask for something, be prepared for anything that shows up, so ask wisely.
Maybe later when I'm on break and have had more sleep I'll dive into it some more. But for now, I need to go grade papers. Oh, and shop the Internet for a beginner's magic kit and something called a zoomer zuppie cat. But if the next two weeks go the way the last two weeks have, I predict I'll be wrapping up a lot of coal instead.