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Into the Ether: Early Morning Christmas Daydreams December 25, 2008

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in Christmas.
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The house is quiet, save the heater clicking on and off, and the mysterious clicking that the ductwork makes as it heats up and cools down. The dog is back in the house now (still alive, which I might add is remarkable, give the hour of the day he chose to wake me), he’s been fed, and the chill of stepping outside to hook (and subsequently unhook) him to his chain has finally passed.

The sound of “Christmas Time is Here” from the “It’s Christmas, Charlie Brown” soundtrack still rings in my ears, and I quickly remember the explanation a music major recently gave me for some of the non-social reasons that minor keys sound “incomplete,” and therefore are prone to generating melancholy moods in Westerners.

I briefly sat in front of the tree, looking at the variety of ornaments hanging there: handmade memories of school projects, the obligatory UofL/UK ornaments, the football tailpad that the boys decided should be hung on the front of the tree like an ornament…

I sat in the dark and thought of the many people, family and friends, who I’ve shared Christmas with over the course of my life. I thought of some who’ve since died, and some who’ve moved away. I thought of some with whom I’ve had some sort of falling out. I thought of the pride that keeps me from attempting to renew such friendships.

I thought of my parents, and how much I miss both of them. I wondered idly if the boys would feel the same about me at some point in the future, and then dismissed such thoughts with the assessment that no great fissure exists in my relationship with either of them, and since I’m the only father they’ve ever known, they could hardly find themselves missing someone else. I found that strangely comforting, and not, all at the same time.

I looked at the wrapped gifts under the tree, and thought again of the strange behaviors that so many of us engage in to (supposedly) celebrate Jesus’ birth, and how we repeat this to ourselves as if to convince us that it’s true. I thought of the many lies (or at least, half-truths) we tell ourselves to convince ourselves of certain things. I dismissed this to the realm of common human frailty.

The heater kicks on again, making me wonder (by way of the short cycling time) if there is some obvious shortcoming in the house’s insulation, which immediately makes me wonder if the payback of any resolution there would be fast enough in the current economy. I begin having meta-wonderings about my thought processes, and decide that the random ramblings of my brain, no doubt making fascinating reading here, are strange enough in and of themselves to just allow them to sit here in isolation.

My mind returns to thoughts of how we celebrate this holiday, and wonder why I (and others like me) am prone to finding ways of excusing self-serving behavior as “good” or “holy remembrance.” I randomly wonder why, if doing for others is really the point, I don’t expend as much energy helping the poor or the homeless. The truth is, I tend to do for my own… my friends and family, and nobody else.

I note that Twitter is starting to pick up now, as is Facebook, and realize that somehow, at 17 and 20, both of my sons have somehow learned to sleep late on Christmas Day, something I never seemed able to do. This reminds me of why I got up in the first place, the dog, whose life I chose to spare (in the spirit of the Day), and I make a mental note to be thankful toward him for getting me up, lest I sleep right through moments like this.

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