T’was the night before Christmas…

And not surprisingly, Armitageworld is pretty quiet.  Kind of bittersweet here.  Showbiz has a paying singing engagement at another church, so we won’t see him until later this evening.  I’m on my way out the door soon myself.

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I’ve got a basket full of goodies to distribute to church pals – Christmas candy must be shared (look out Servetus…now that you’re back it’s coming your way too 😇)

Wherever you are on the globe, I wish you peace, love, joy and hope…

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And blue shoes…blue shoes are great!!

Καλά Χριστούγεννα  Armitageworld!!

et alia: Again with this?!

As virtually everyone in Armitage world enters into Hobbit frenzy, I find myself in a kind of funk I’ve named Hobbit Hiatus as I grade like a madwoman to finish the fall semester by Friday.  In the midst, seeking a breather, I took a scroll through my RL Facebook feed….whoops, that was a mistake!

**What follows is an irritated rant that is in no way related to Richard Armitage and only tangentially related to the ancient world, so feel free to abandon ship now.

If, however, you’d like to hear about what is currently burning my buns…

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^^^^THIS, or something very similar to it has appeared on my RLFB at least three times in the past few weeks and it’s really starting to frost me.  This is the kind of exclusionary arrogance of thought that gives Christians a bad name.  I’ve got nothing against Christians per se..regular readers will know that I consider myself among their ranks.  Heck, someone even turned a Christian pulpit over to me recently and no one ran out screaming “heretic at the helm!!,” but….

Sometimes I really wish that my fellow Christians would take a minute to learn a little something about the religion before they insist on imposing it on everyone…whether the imposee practices it or not.  For instance:

ONE: Virtually every culture on the planet holds some reverence for the winter solstice (December 21st-ish)…many have established a holiday to mark the event.  Christmas is not the only, or even the oldest of the holidays connected to the solstice

TWO:  Apparently little known fact among HTT (holier than thou) Christians asserting greeting exclusivity as a statement of faith:  Christianity has zero inherent connection to December 25th.  Nobody…that’s right, NOBODY, knows the precise date on which Jesus of Nazareth was born.  Not now, and not then.

In fact, for the first three hundred years of Christian development Christmas was nowhere to be found on the calendar and there was a great deal of resistance amongst the leadership to any sort of celebration marking Christ’s birth since that was considered dangerously close to pagan practice.

Any accurate record of the actual birthdate long lost, church officials argued back and forth until the 4th century BC when they landed on December 25th. In a time when Christianity was seeking to actively integrate with imperial Rome, it was a date that conveniently syncretized a Christian celebration to a Roman festival honoring Sol Invictus which was in turn connected to the solstice.

So much for any exclusive claim to December holiday greeting lingo rights!

FINALLY:  As long as a Christian holds G-d and Christ in his or her heart, the verbiage of the greeting is irrelevant.  It’s a quintessential “It’s the thought that counts” moment.

The next time I see one of these things I’m simply going to share this one in response:

Indeed.

Indeed.

 

 

End Rant…whew – I feel much better now!

Καλά Χριστούγεννα ArmitageWorld!

merry christmas

The predawn stillness was broken by rapid footsteps descending wooden stairs, tearing paper, laughing children and the roar of the snowblower and the scrape of the shovel….??

Christmas morning was going along so well…I managed, with only a tiny exaggeration at 5:47, to keep Mini-me in bed until 7:00 before she couldn’t stand it anymore.  The kids were opening their offerings from Santa – bittersweet this year since I think it will be the last one that Mini-Me believes – when I looked outside.  Ergh…it snowed again overnight.  Ordinarily, we’d let it go a bit longer since we didn’t need to be out until later, but I also saw my elderly neighbor out shoveling her driveway.  We have an arrangement – in exchange for the use of her snowblower, we take care of her snow removal.  She’s expecting family today, so she decided to shovel it herself, I assume because she didn’t want to disturb our Christmas morning.  She was already done with most of the driveway when I walked out onto the porch (in barefeet and pajamas) to do a small town yell and let her know we’d be there shortly to blow out what the snow plow had left in the end of her driveway.

Nanook of the North...aka Obscurus.  I had to beat a hasty retreat - that thing throws further than I thought!

Nanook of the North…aka Obscurus. I had to beat a hasty retreat – that thing throws further than I thought!

Not exactly the idyllic Christmas morning I was expecting, but all in all, not so bad.  I had started to clean off the car that doesn’t fit in the garage (don’t ask) but then decided to grab my phone to snap some pictures while I was out there.  Trying not to track snow into the house, I called from the mudroom for one of the kids…no answer.  Strange – I left them knee deep in wrapping paper in front of the tree.  Leaving snow tracks, I went into the house to fetch my phone and found the wrapping paper all bagged up, and the kids…and their loot…no where in sight.  They had packed up their stuff and relocated to their rooms to get down to business.  A Christmas miracle!!  Usually, there needs to be an act of congress to get these kids to haul their stuff upstairs!

Back outside, I returned to assist with the snow removal.  Actually, my presence was pretty much de trop.  Although there was at least three inches of new snow, it is of the sparkly, fluffy variety –  I’m told the type of “powder” skiers love.  (I wouldn’t know – the one and only time I skied,  there were blue streaks all over the snow from where the butt of my new Levis slid down the slope.  I understand that is not the proper form!)  The snowblower makes pretty short work of this kind of snow, so I piddled around, cleaned off the front walk and the porch and took some pictures.

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I find the “Life Cycle of a Snowman” painted window on my porch kind of irritating today 🙂

I really wish I had the resources to rent a crane to put lights in this tree!

I really wish I had the resources to rent a crane to put lights in this tree!

So the snow has all been moved (for now…weather radar shows another storm moving across the state from the west!) and we will mobilize shortly to head over to my sister’s house for brunch.  Wherever today finds you, I wish you the very best of days…full of Joy, Hope, Love and Peace.

Happy Holidays from Ancient Armitage!!