Christmas is frigging awesome. Seriously, it's the season that makes me come to grips with the fact that... Though I am 33 years old... I'm basically a big kid. Ain't it cool how this time of year does that to you? Yeah, I thought so.
Anyways... since I'm not gonna be standing in line at a store when Mass starts tonight (Grant speak for "I actually have all my shopping done") I figured... I'd do a random Christmas thoughts post as my little stocking stuffer to all of you loyal readers out there. We'll call this post of random... Epic Christmas...
CHRISTMAS TUNES - How awesome are Christmas tunes? I mean there are some terrible ones (insert "Christmas in Iowa" song here)... It's just straight up freaking awful. When I hear this song it makes me want to tell my buddy of mine to meet me in the backyard and whip 3 dozen snowballs at my junk. Yeah. Not a fan. But... nothing like when you hear someone belt out a good one. I'm not much for the Christmas Radio Station bit... just on the mere fact that you have to listen to the crap songs. What's my Holiday Mix Tape? Anything with Frank Sinatra, Charlie Brown Christmas, Boston Pops (basically anything with horns) and maybe Cheech and Chong. Oh and anything done by the Roots. Oh and that Beach Boys one. And yeah, I'm total sucker for the Churchy songs. You know... the ones sang right by the hot chick in your confirmation class... the ones that brings the tears in the pews. Crazy good. How freaking awesome are those? Freaking awesome. I mean these guys who were writing these songs like a hundred years ago had to be like, "Dudes, some day... peeps are gonna be bawling by the end of this one." I shared that idea with my sister, she said, "They probably were brought to tears composing them." Good point April.
TRADITIONS - No matter if its the ones your ancestors brought over on the boat... Something your family does... or even that Ugly Sweater party... Every one's got em. My favorite? Christmas Eve in Jewell. I grew up on the same block as the church. So here's how it goes down... 5:30 Mass at Good Shepherd... then anyone who's around comes over to my parent's house. Not just like family... but family friends, sometimes the priest... my Dad's buddies... high school pals (and now their kids). They show up after Mass or stop before they head to their church's services, have some cocktails... get fat on all of the epic things my Mom cooked up and just hang out. Which makes for just a great night of laughs and holiday cheer. One year, they thought Midnight Mass would be a decent change. Yeah... still had the party at my folks... but headed to Mass later. Which made the snow drift in front of the parish doors rival most snow drifts on college campuses on a Thursday night. Hey, like I said, we live on the same block... Have road beers and Christmas spirit, will travel.
EPIC FOOD - Dudes... Are. You. Serious! The best evar. I'm not much of a sweets guy... but I can't stop eating Christmas cookies. The best part of having like... 60 aunts... is that they are off the chain in the kitchen. Add to the fact that my family is involved in farming one way or another... yeah, just about any thing you can make with a pork product is served. Big ass Bell's Mill ham... meat trays... pigs in a balnket... And if it didn't come from a pig, they'll wrap it in bacon and drown it in a sauce. Yeah man. No one goes hungry.
SANTA CLAUS - Yes, there is a Santa Claus. No doubt about it. Oh and for you Santa haters out there. Recognize. I know its not a very Christmasy thing to say... but if you say there ain't no Santa... you get what you deserve, nothing.
SPEAKING OF SANTA... and turning into a big kid. So I was outside the mall the other day, you know... smoke break. And a lady with two big crates of candy canes was coming up to the door. She was struggling a little with the large cargo... so I helped load 'em in the mall. I asked, "Hey wait a minute... are these Santa's candy canes?" As my eyes got wide, she grinned back at me saying, "Yep, that's right. These are Santa's candy canes." Then I go, "Dude, that's awesome!" Candy canes were delivered to the big man and I went back to shopping. But I sure had a glow of being important. I, of all people, just got to help out THE Santa Claus. What can I say, I'm just a big kid.
SAYING MERRY CHRISTMAS - Yeah yeah yeah. I hear you. I'm not much for lecturing people that it's Jesus' epic birthday. I say Merry Christmas... You can say Happy Holidays, Happy Festivus, Happy Hanukkah... Happy Saturday... whatever you want. I won't be offended. I don't care. If its this time of year, I say Merry Christmas... Just like I say "Go Chiefs" or just plain "CHIEEEEEEEEFS" to anyone I see on a Sunday.
CHRISTMAS PRESENTS - Shopping... gets a little stressful, sometimes... doesn't it? Is this what he wants? Will she fit in this? Is he into Legos yet or will he choke on 'em? What age is appropriate for Barbie? Don't buy it dude, someone may have gotten it for you... These are the thoughts that come to my head and are asked to better shopping experts than I. Of which I know gets a little annoying at times for them... what am I to do? I'm notta shopping expert. Was asked the other day, "What was the best Christmas gift you ever got?" With out even flinching... An authentic sideline team issue Kansas City Chiefs winter jacket... just like Marty Schottenheimer wore on many of those playoff runs. I think I was like 12 or 13... maye older... when I got it. My Mom says I about hit the ceiling when I opened it... literally. That my friends was a bad ass jacket. It was like before stores had all the authentic stuff. It came directly from Kansas City. Man that was a great jacket. And to answer your question, yes. When no one was around... I'd put it on, wore an old pair of my Dad's glasses and paced around the house... pretending like I was Marty telling Derrick Thomas, "Good job, Derrick. Keep working that guy." Um yeah, I think that's the first time I've ever admitted that.
THE END OF A YEAR - Cool part, I think at least, is that whole reflect on the last year stuff. 2010? I'd say it was decent. Not bad, not bad at all. Big wins in November... The Chiefs win and they're in the playoffs... Decent health... (heavy on the decent)... We can do better too in 2011, don't you think? Of course.
Alright... I gotta start negotiating my way back to God's County. Mass is at 6:30. So I gotta split...
Before I load up my sleigh of presents and head north, I have a brief message to all of you loyal readers, friends, family, haters, stalkers, even Denver Bronco fans... and everyone in between. Back at Good Shepherd up in Jewell, Father Recker would always end his homily with this line that I always kind of digged. He's was longtime drama coach for a big catholic high school somewhere back in the day... and it showed during Mass. Crazy good stuff.
Here's his line and my wish for you all...
"To you and yours. May you have a very Happy, a very Holy... a very Merry Christmas."