Bonus points for me if you can't get Charlie Brown's Christmas out of your head now.
I've been a little out of sorts this past month or so. I'm sure you're dying to know why, so I'll definitely share, but first the backstory. I have to share the backstory. I think it's an unwritten blog rule. After all, what's a blog without a backstory? That's right, a paragraph.
In 2008 I was down-sized from a company I'd been with since graduating from college. It was the only full-time job I've ever had. Since then, I worked two jobs for two years to try to come close to replacing our income. Then, out of the blue, the second full-time I've ever had gave me the opportunity to further my career elsewhere. They were gracious enough to keep me on for three months after telling me - basically to train my replacement (technically, he wasn't my replacement, he had a different job title, since giving him the same title might've left a door open for litigation - he just did the same work I was doing). But, if I hadn't gone through all that, I wouldn't have discovered Awesome Vendors.
Oh yeah, also in the last year of that job, my Sweetie also was down-sized from her full-time job. Providentially, she found a part time job before my full-time job ended, so we were still ok - after downsizing the family budget to match. Her new job is in retail, and since it's not Chick-Fil-A, they're open on Sundays. Sundays that she basically works two on, two off.
Bear with me, I'm about to come to a point.
About that same time, the church we were attending closed it's doors, and my Sweetie working half or more Sundays in a month provides a convenient excuse to lack the initiative to find a new one. I want to avoid any awkwardness there might be with me visiting some place alone. "We have a great adult singles ministry." "Are you divorced?"
So, back to being out of sorts. I miss being in the middle of a congregation and belting out Silent Night, Joy to the World, Angels We Have Heard on High, I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas... (What? Your church doesn't sing about hippopotami?) Our church was modern church, so we didn't always do the traditional Advent-y things - which I missed long before this year - but I really miss the extra fellowship that seems to come with the season.
To fill the void, we've had our cable set to the Holiday music channel. The music channels all display bits of trivia at the top and bottom of the screen. Most of the time it's even relevent. The holiday channel stretches the definition of relevant. Learning the minimum size for the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is 65 feet tall and 35 feet wide is interesting. Pointing out that Jim Carrey's character in Dumb and Dumber was named Lloyd Christmas, is dubious at best. While I uttered a verbal, "Huh!" when I read that Play-Doh was originally created as a wallpaper cleaner, I'm not sure what it has to do with Christmas.
The one piece of trivia you won't find there, is originally there was a reverent version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. My Sweetie and I first heard about it when we heard Twila Paris explain that she'd be singing it a little differently from what was introduced way back in Meet Me In St. Louis. She said the producers wanted two words changed (the all-knowing internet oracle Wikipedia says there were more words than that). Instead of "if the Fates allow", it should be "if the Lord allows". So, anytime we hear that song, we sing the right lyrics and roll our eyes at everyone who sings it wrong.
I'm looking forward to Christmas Sunday. We'll be in Oklahoma City, and we'll go with family to their slightly-Charismatic-mega-church and be able to join in with hundreds of people who've possibly been to church even less than us, allowing us to still have someone to look down our sanctimonious noses at.
If I don't post before then, Merry Christmas to everyone.