Oh well, another week went by and I didn’t blog. It seems I have reached that stage of life where all I do is make promises and then don’t keep them. I should have gone into politics, having already developed all the necessary habits. Still, it’s Friday, so I can definitely come up with five things.
This must be a joke. I mean, I wish it were a joke. But maybe not? It’s in the New York Post…are we being punked?
A human-size emotional support bear might be the perfect gift for you. The Loving Bear Puffy is the shape and size of a male human body — but has the head of a teddy bear. Puffy is “a very personal product invented by an ordinary woman who is afraid of being alone,” the company said. The 5-foot, 7-inch oversize plush bear — weighing just 7 pounds — is $160 and “replaces the need for the physical presence of a person in various moments and situations of everyday life, especially during long lonely nights.” The milky-brown bear is produced by a Bulgarian company founded by model and designer Ina Marholeva and product and creative manager Tonia Berdankova.
You have to click the link—really you have to. I tried to embed the video yesterday and couldn’t and so that’s why I didn’t post (the other days had other dumb reasons). Why should you click the link? Because there are pictures of this creepy thing. I can’t believe it’s real. Really I can’t. I’m trying hard not to be apocalyptic, but if it’s real there is no hope for humanity.
I’ve been working on a short thing about Christmas and St. Nicholas. Should Christians go in for Santa or Father Christmas or St. Nicholas? Or is it a super bad idea? As I was wandering around on the internet trying to figure out what other people think, Matt sent me this old blog I did during Advent. It’s like 15 years old and, I mean, I guess I was superwoman. Here’s a taste:
This year the Advent Wreath Routine will be in the morning rather than the evening because we have been having a morning Bible Story with the children plus songs and the Lord’s Prayer. And we’ll sing ‘O Come O Come Emmanuel’ probably every morning so the kiddos can learn it.
Then, in the evenings, we’ll open the Advent Calendar which this year is in the form of a lot of little books, some sacred, some secular, all alluring because they’re all so little and everybody wants to touch them and read them and wreck them. They might go on the tree eventually, but I might rather keep them safe in the box so we can use them next year.
Um….we woke up in the morning and sang the Lord’s Prayer? Wow. Oh, and then this:
Fifth, my own private celebration of Advent has come to include the making of materials for the Atrium. This week I’m going to start work on the Level Two Prophecy Prayer Cards as well as the Flight into Egypt. The making of materials has come to be a restful moment of devotion and focus in a month that can be garish, busy and stressful.
And finally, Matt and I spend a whole day making some sort of food as our Christmas presents to everyone (I’m sorry, I don’t have the money or inclination to shop, so if you don’t like chocolate or cookies or sweets, you won’t like what I’m giving you this year). Two years ago we made chocolate truffles, and the year before that, jars of lemon curd, and the year before that, Nigella’s Chocolate Loaf Cake.
“My own private celebration of Advent” ROTFL. I mean, I remember making materials and truffles and stuff…but did we do this all at once? I tried to do the math and I think that when I wrote that deathless prose I was also working at the Christmas Tree Shop because money was tight. I can’t imagine doing any of that stuff now.
The only thing I can think of is that the young mothers in my church right now all look like goddesses—the hair, the breezy confidence, the amazing energy. Maybe I was like that back in the day.
I also discovered this case against Santa by a very nice Christian person who I mostly agree with, but in this case not so much. Someone called in to ask whether or not it was ok to let the Jolly Fat Man into their lives. Here’s a taste of the response:
Jesus came at Christmas to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). Jesus came at Christmas to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). Jesus came at Christmas to give his life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). Jesus came at Christmas not to call the righteous, but sinners (Matthew 9:13). Jesus came at Christmas to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). Jesus came at Christmas that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death (Hebrews 2:14). So the birth of the Son of God, the very God, very man, is simply stunning and glorious and infinitely serious, an overflow of the happy news. The angel called it “good news of great joy” — great joy, not small joy, not a little bit of joy, but great joy (Luke 2:10). It is mindboggling to me that any Christian would even contemplate such a trade, that we would divert attention away from the incarnation of the God of the universe into this world to save us and our children. Not only is Santa Claus not true — and Jesus is very truth himself — but compared to Jesus, Santa is simply pitiful, and our kids should be helped to see this.
I mean, when you put it like that, of course I will just creep back into my closet to eat my cheese on my own. Or, perhaps, it doesn’t have to be a choice between the two. It’s possible to worship Jesus and also have a nice time doing things that aren’t just Jesus. Jesus can be Lord of all, including your Christmas feast, which can include some fun fanciful things. Ironically, my children are all quick to see what is pitiful, and don’t ever need my help. They can hold several thoughts in their minds at the same time, and don’t have to make a trade between two things that don’t necessarily have to contradict each other.
Funnily enough, some people online are still very angry with Matt for posting his parenting advice on Twitter a while back. Because “news” now is just rehashing things that people say on Twitter, writing up whole “articles” where tweets are embedded with one line of commentary (I know, it’s my favorite thing to do and I’m going to keep doing it), this was the perfect fodder for those who think that teaching children self-mastery is literally the cruelest thing ever.
So anyway, if you’re worried about your kids hating you, what you do is, you buy them a lot of presents but then say they’re all from Santa. They won’t be able to tell whether Jesus is real or not, if you tell them about Santa, and also, they will definitely hate you if you don’t let them do everything they want the moment they want to do it. Don’t ever do anything reasonable and sane with your children—like set limits, but also have a fun time at Christmas. Don’t do either of those things. Hashtag the Apocalypse.
I gotta run because the piano teacher is here making the girls toil their incompetent way through a lot of mediocre music (how mean I am, making my children learn to play the piano, I didn’t even ask them if they wanted to, I just signed them up) and I have to clean up my living room so that one of the best behaved little boys that ever was can come here so his super-mom (for true, she is amazing) can have the morning to pick up her house and catch her breath. I just remembered! I did all that stuff all those years ago because my neighbors would just knock on my door and ask if my children could come to play. I had whole stretches of time in a clean house with my advent music playing, quietly painting little tiny wooden people so that all the children of the church could learn about Jesus.
Have a nice day!
Photo by May Gauthier on Unsplash