Merry Christmas, Everyone Part II
We made our quick, seven-hour trek to Memphis yesterday, and we launched into our feasting quest immediately. It was a spread that is a tradition for us normally at our big Thanksgiving, but we postponed it this year to be sure my brother and his family made it from Waco/Baylor.
My brother's smoked turkey prepared on the Green Egg was the centerpiece of the options that included two hams, cornbread dressing, rice, lima beans, five casseroles, hot rolls throughout, then seven desserts. With the death of my grandfather, we shifted the venue to my sister's house. They moved here after Hurricane Katrina, where their house was flooded. She's an emerging artist, and her home is adorned with a variety of artwork that's she's picked up over the years as well as from my Mother, an established artist here in Memphis.
I read an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution yesterday about a growing group of Christians who are turning their back on Christmas. Their view is that the celebration of the birth of Jesus is not Biblical, that God has not instructed us to celebrate this holiday. Certainly, much of Christmas is more about American commercialism and materialism than it is about the story of Jesus.
For me, I think that Christmas is best when it is about the story of Jesus; specifically, about the story of unconditional love. And the closest I can get to unconditional love is from my family. Being warmed at the hearth of my parents, being caressed by the heart of my siblings, being accidentally comforted by aunts and uncles; these are the aspects of Christmas that are truly the spirit of the season for me.
It all comes with baggage, to be sure. The family member who cannot listen to you nor can feign interest in your story. The brooding one in the corner (it's been me more often than not recently). It's easy to get hung up with all of these things, especially when you don't see people very frequently. I'm working hard to escape these feelings, and the last twenty-four hours has been very good.
From meeting the Musical Director of a top Broadway musical to discovering the new music of my cousin's band, it was a great night for me.
Here are my Christmas wishes for the important people in my life:
That Otis will improve on his role as one of the best father's around while seeing his career options open up for him in exciting new ways.
That Wes will have big 2008 on the felt while strengthening his time away from the felt.
That Rav will have a great first year in Chicago--and that our paths will cross.
That Waffles finds a few new things to rant about!
That cmitch has the best year of his life, both at the table and everywhere else.
That Smokkee's first year of marriage is an order of magnitude better than the last year of his singlehood.
That BadBlood will sneak a round of golf with me at the Cliffs, and that his year in G-Vegas will be the best yet.
That Drizz will never lose his smile.
That TripJax will have a year of great comfort and depth of intimacy.
That Kat will continue to find hidden worlds and unlock hidden minds.
Have a great Thursday. You can check out my 365Group photos as I'm still staying with it.