It's still Christmas until 12th Night. So there. Another Advent, another Christmas. Come and gone. Onwards to Epiphany, which I think is my favourite celebration of the whole Christian year. Because I'm weird. But you knew that.
This year, all through Advent, I told everyone and anyone that I wanted charitable gifts for Christmas. Didn't get a single one. I think people are way too set on the idea that they have to give a Thing. I told my Mom that I'd like some of the dried garlic she got me a few years ago, and that was enough. With the rest of the money, buy an Oxfam gift. No. She bought me a casserole dish I don't need, Tandoori spice with recipes (all of which were for meat - I'm vegan. Mentioned this to Mom. She said, "Well, some were chicken." Uhhh, okay... I said, "Chicken is meat. I don't eat it." Mom: "Not even a little?" Oh well. Tandoori potatoes?), some plastic cookware I won't use (PLASTIC? In the microwave? No way.) Now, I don't want to sound ungrateful. I love that she was trying to help me out in the kitchen. God knows I spend enough time there what with all the allergies. But I didn't need all that stuff. And someone did need to eat. Or be protected from malaria. Or have a place to go if her husband was beating her. Or have a warm place to sleep.
[AC] Promo 2011 from Advent Conspiracy on Vimeo.
It's not too late. The problems aren't gone.
Oh Christmas. I love Christmas. I love seeing the joy on my little guy's face when he opens a present. I love the lights. I love the hustle and bustle. I love the food. I adore the mulled wine a little too much. I love the message of being saved. Of God's love, Of hope for the future.
I didn't love that Crackle was so sick from gluten (RAAR. HULK MAMA MAD. AUTISM SERVICE PROVIDER NOT KEEP BABIES SAFE FROM EVIL AWFUL GLUTEN! HULK SMASH. HULK NOT SEND BABIES BACK TO THEM.) We couldn't even go to church because Crackle was absolutely hysterical all day on the 24th and not much better on the 25th. We're at almost 4 weeks post-gluten and he's JUST getting back to normal. Like today.
So why do I like Epiphany? It's pretty simple. And somehow I can't quite write it. Revealing God the Son to the Magi, the wise men from afar, made it clear that God's love is for everyone. That we're all the same. That there is no room for intolerance, bigotry, racism, or hatred, in Christ. There's no "Us" and "Them". Everyone "belongs" to God. We are all of God. And it doesn't matter if we call him God, Allah, Jehovah, Yahweh, Vishnu or any other name. And it's okay if we don't believe. God loves us. Pretty sure God would like to be acknowledged and loved back, but also pretty sure he's got his big boy panties on and won't condemn someone to an eternity of misery for not seeing him. My God's just not vindictive that way. Better not be, because I've gotten pretty mad at God a time or two. Like shaking my fist in anger and screaming, "FUCK YOU. YOU BASTARD!" kind of angry. We're good now though. Mostly.
I so wish people would stop twisting the message into "Jesus is for everyone. Therefore everyone MUST have Jesus as their Saviour OR ELSE!" It's not that God isn't Great (as the late Christopher Hitchens said) it's that people are pretty damn good at Missing the Fucking Point and/or Warping the Message.