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Posts Tagged ‘Norman Rockwell’

This is Bert. He’s a nine year old Cock-a-poo born on September 11th, 2001 and among his many quirks is a dread fear of cameras. Perhaps he was blinded by a flash as a pup, or could be that he and his tribe believe that photographs steal souls; whatever, he is so terrified that he disappears whenever someone whips out a Nikon. So, I tricked him to get this photo for the annual family holiday card. First, I gained his favor and rapt attention with a fist full of treats (see the yearning in his eyes) and then I whipped out a cell phone. Lucky for me, I got him on the first shot because as soon as he realized that the phone was a camera, he was out of there.

So, yes, I terrorized my best little buddy for the sake of the Christmas card that I ultimately didn’t create as I determined to save trees, money, and my sanity by not sending cards this year. It wasn’t fair to my phobic pup, and I paid a price – Bert didn’t trust me for several hours, treats or no treats. But, I felt justified. It was for Christmas. And, honestly, Christmas does not always bring out my better angels.

This most wonderful time of the year with its grand gift giving and receiving and its heightened sense of anticipation, tis the season that I duel with an acute awareness of the seven deadly sins in me.

As a wee child, I felt

  • pride in wanting to give the most favored gifts
  • anger for not getting what I wanted
  • greed for all the toys advertised on Saturday morning TV
  • gluttony for wanting to consume all seventeen varieties of cookies that my Mom baked to fulfill her Swedish tradition, not to mention the meatballs, the Korv, and the Limpa Bread
  • lust for all the toys advertised on Saturday morning TV
  • envy for all the toys my sisters got from Santa that I didn’t get
  • and sloth because all I wanted to do was eat sweets and play

and I was so ashamed. God’s only son was born in a stable and laid in a rough-hewn manger after all.

But, now, after many turns of the wheel, and many revisits of holiday angst in different guises, I don’t judge my feelings so harshly. Actually, I wonder if the abrasion process is the true Christmas gift. After the repetitive disappointments of the red plaid boxer shorts that got returned and the figgy puddings that went flat and all the hoped for kisses under the mistletoe that didn’t happen, I’m much less ruffled by it all, much more accepting of my complicated feelings, much more anticipatory of the mania and the inevitable fall. So, I’m smoother now. Smooth as a baby’s bottom. The holidays have helped those seven deadlies to wriggle to the surface to be sloughed off, so that, year by year, what’s also illuminated in the heightened experience of the holly jollys & the hallelujahs, is the change in me. The child-like enchantment, wonder, and awe I have now is for the spiritual process. Maybe this is the birth I’m/we’re called to celebrate. Incidentally, Bert was a Christmas gift which is why we named him Bert. The name comes from the line in the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life when George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) discovers that he’s in the flesh again. “My lip ‘s bleeding, Bert,” he exclaims to the Bedford Falls cop, and George rejoices for the pain, the blood, the sensation that proves that he’s alive.

 

Wishing you a Sensational Holiday

&

Joy in the Journey for All Your Days!

L.

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