Father Brendan’s Mid-Week Musings | OPINION

IN A mad rush one Christmas Eve a man raced into the cosmetics section of a department store and asked the sales lady “Show me a bottle of that perfume stuff women love to drown themselves in that’s not too expensive … please.” 

She showed him a small bottle of perfume that was $100. “Pfft!” he said “Too expensive!” The lady returned with a smaller bottle for $50. The man whined “still too expensive!”

Growing annoyed, the sales lady brought out a tiny bottle, practically a vial, for $15.

The man became agitated, “Look little Miss, I'd like to look at something really really cheap.” So the sales lady handed him a mirror. Let’s reflect on this story … ahem.

I found myself thinking the other day “One door closes. Another door opens. One door closes. Another door opens. One door closes. Another door opens.”

It wasn’t me getting all philosophical about the year, I was just eating my way through a chocolate Advent calendar.

I know Christmas isn’t about chocolate; that’s Easter; but as I was downing chocolate I began musing on the meaning of Christmas.

I think Christmas loses something when you no longer wait out for the surprise of what Santa will bring.

I’m not saying there’s no Santa, just saying Christmas loses some of the fun when you no longer leave out a stocking or box for Santa to fill.

As you get older, you get deeper and at Christmas you may often find yourself musing on things and people deeply that you’ve lost and that pain can dominate Christmas if you’re not careful.

If this is us, keeping Christmas busy, even hectic, seems the lesser of two evils.

These people may get cranky at Christmas but it’s the fruit of their sadness for the loss of those who will never be home for Christmas again.

Somebody said when they were a kid they witnessed so many family fights at Christmas they thought Boxing Day meant a day for fighting (boxing) with your family. 

This may sound counter-intuitive, but I think these fights are also born out of love, which is perhaps why the worst are with family; born out of a frustration or childish regret that we’re not as close as we once were and it’s all the fault of the in-laws, but you can’t very well get angry with them.

So how do we make Christmas merry again? Get your Christmas shopping done early; have a little less rum in your “rum-pa-pum-pum”; and understand that even Willy Wonka can’t devour what you have without experiencing a sugar crash later, and that’s okay.

May favourite Christmas carol is Run Run Rudolph! but perhaps for we adults it should be Silent Night.

Don’t focus on the doors closed this Christmas but the doors open.

No loved one’s death is longer lasting than Christ’s birth.

Surprises at Christmas are for children not adults, so we should try and keep Christmas with the family not “rocky road” but rather “vanilla” even boring, and just love being with those you love and who love you, warts and all. 

It would be silly to wrap ourselves up and place ourselves under the Christmas tree, but only because it’s been so stinking hot lately; for the best Christmas present you can give to your family at Christmas is you.

Keep Christmas vanilla and you will find peace. Merry Christmas to all of you, my unknown friends, wherever you are.

FATHER BRENDAN LEE

Twitter: @frbrendanelee