No, not that one, the one Bill O’Reilly and Sarah Palin trot out every year to keep their troops defensive and pissed off.
I’m talking about the one waged in my own life.
Much as I love the reality of the Nativity, I am a letter carrier. This is the hair-hairiest time of the year for us. I have been delivering mail in the dark for a week (I wear a head lamp, like a coal miner), coming home exhausted, trying to squeeze in Christmas shopping and other preparations.
Though nothing, I hope, will ever rival the Christmas a few years ago, when my bride was home with a sick baby and I had to do a marathon shopping trip on my one day off, a couple of days before the feast. While coming down with the flu.
I ended the long day sitting in a Chinese restaurant, as the chill I had been carrying all day long broke into a fever.
It would be one thing if the soundtrack to all this was composed of lovely carols, reminding us of “our dear Saviour’s birth”, but no. In every store and on the office radio all I hear is Holiday Music, all about Santa and reindeer running over grandma and dogs barking out “Jingle Bells”.
In the office, where I spend the first two or three hours of the day, the radio is tuned to the oldies station, which is where you get to hear, besides Paul McCartney’s “classic” Wonderful Christmas Song (hard to believe that this is the guy who wrote “Penny Lane”) Bruce Springsteen singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and Madonna oozing “Santa Baby”. The one actual carol that is played is by Stevie Nicks, in which she slowly strangles “Silent Night”. The oldies station is where you hear pop stars slaughtering classics, or worse, penning their own Holiday Music.
All pretty depressing, and all militating against the spirit of the Nativity worse than any militant secularist brigade of the Tea Party’s feverish dreams.
I doubt I will be posting much between now and Christmas; say a prayer that grace may touch me in spite of it all. I do plan to attend Christmas Liturgy at St George Romanian Cathedral; Bishop John Michael’s homilies are reliably spiritual and challenging.
Which I am going to need by then.