Sunday, December 11, 2011

Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer

You know the song, whether you want to or not.
It's not that the song embodies the spirit of Christmas, or is even in good taste, it's because it relates to us an important point about Christmas that we should heed what it says: we're all getting run over by the reindeer. Who is "Grandma?" The one in the family who still goes to Church on Christmas Eve, that's her true "home" where she knows she needs to be on this blessed night but she's been drinking eggnog, i.e., she's been drinking so deeply of the earthly celebrations that she isn't prepared to take part in the celestial celebrations. What is the medicine Grandma forgot to take? Holy communion and the reading of Sacred Scripture which is the medicine we need to keep us from getting run-over by the reindeer of the commercial sleigh-ride.
"As for me and Grandpa, we believe," makes it seem like a song bucking the cynicism of not believing in Santa, but the point is, they believe in Santa more than they believe in God (they didn't go to Church with Grandma, they tried to talk Grandma out of going). In this song, the rampant commercialism of Christmas is tied to the reindeer and sleigh as bringing in all the "loot" for Christmas and Grandma, stumbling out, drunk on eggnog, on her way to Midnight Mass or evening candle light services, is run-over by the reindeer: the importance of buying the gifts, wrapping the gifts and getting the gifts stops her from going to receive the true gift, the Infant Jesus.
The "red sleighs" running over Grandma.
There isn't a single one of us not guilty of this.
It's Christmas Eve and either we are getting ready to open packages or that will be done in the morning, maybe there are still presents to be wrapped, but we are with our loved ones and there is so much that has to be done over the next couple of days that when we finally get to sit down and rest, we don't have the energy to go to the stable and remember why his night is holy unto the Lord. We talk each other out of going, emphasizing our physical tiredness and weariness instead of our spiritual weariness that requires the consolation of meditating upon the Lord God who came down and became one of us. Are we going to be sitting around, and watching football and drinking beer Christmas Day, like nothing has happened, or will we be filled with the spirit of Love that filled our Lord when he was born in the humble stable?
No, they are not lined up waiting to get inside the church, guess again . . .
The song makes a point that Santa shouldn't have a license, but this is a play on words, because we give Santa the "license" to ruin the real meaning of Christmas by giving our energy to the secular celebrations and wearing ourselves out so we don't have the energy--and the anticipation--to attend Church and pray for ourselves, our loved ones and the world. The greatest gifts we can give and receive is the gift of Jesus, but we have to actually believe that and life our lives by that or we, too, will be sitting around Christmas day playing cards with Cousin Mel.
If you manage to do only one thing this Christmas, MAKE IT TO CHURCH!