A Sentimental Christmas


Richard John Neuhaus writes on the First Things website the following about the Christmas season set a:

"With stunning abruptness were jostled from the Christmas Mass (the Christ Mass) to the feast of St. Stephen proto-martyr and then on to the slaughter of the holy innocents it is an antidote to the sentimentality that inevitably attends devotion to the baby Jesus. A sentimentality, let it be allowed, that is not to be scorned. Others may make neat distinctions between "authentic sentiment" and sentimentality, but these days of Christmas are a time for the suspension of neat distinctions. Sentimentality is all too human and all too human is what God became."

I was happy to read this quote from Father Neuhaus; I for one am hopelessly sentimental about the Christmas season. My first memories are of stories of Santa Claus and going to church to play one of the shepherds in the Christmas pageant. It was a magical time of the year for me and I haven't forgotten. I hope to recover that feeling every year at this time, sometimes successfully sometimes not, but still I think it's part of Christmas, being childlike. So reading this from Father Neuhaus makes me feel that I haven't completely lost it and I'm not lost in a past that is hopelessly unrecoverable. Next year I think I'll try to celebrate Christmas even more as I did when I was seven years old and I won't feel guilty about.

It doesn't hurt that we are having our second blizzard in two weeks and that we have a something more than a white Christmas this year. It doesn't do much for going to work but it does to a great deal for helping keep the Christmas spirit alive a little longer.

A personal note. I am writing this post using a Christmas present from my wife. Since I broke my shoulder about a month ago I haven't been able to do much in the way of typing, or writing either. And so posting here has been sparse to say the least. My wife purchased voice recognition software, Dragon Naturally Speaking version 9, and while I find it difficult to dictate rather than to type, the more I use the software the more accurate it becomes. My original hope in obtaining this was simply to be able to get some text on paper so that I could correct it by hand into a final version. But it seems with this software I'm able to veryclose to a final version simply by dictating; I'm having to do no more than a minimal amount of correction. I'm able to "type" much more this way than I ever could by hand. And so while it looks like it may be several months before I'm able to really use my right arm again this may prove a bit of the godsend. The one thing the software doesn't seem to be able to do is put capital letters on the words that need capital letters. For example when I dictated "father Neuhaus" above it didn't put a capital letter on "father" so I'll have to train it to recognize the word Father as a title rather than just a word. Just a new toy to play with.

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This page contains a single entry by Ron Moffat published on December 29, 2006 9:46 AM.

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