Tonight I took the kids out and paid $5 to play in fake snow. Because we live in the subtropics… but we’re Americans! We want what we want. A white Christmas, or so help me!
That’s right, The Y brought in a massive snow blower machine that hosed wet, frozen slush onto the soccer fields. They even tried to build a fake hill apparatus under the fake snow for the kids to fake sled down. Unfortunately the slush didn’t stick… so it was mostly a wet plywood death trap designed exclusively to break legs. There isn’t enough health insurance in the world for me to let my kids climb that thing.
A few brave fathers were able to scratch miniature snowman blobs out of the hardening surface for their wee ones. One highly optimistic little girl scraped her arms and legs up and down on the ice for a good 10 minutes trying to make a snow angel. Her parents stood over her with cameras at the ready, encouraging her to dig her finger nails and heels in a bit more. Ah, Savannah children… they literally think snow comes out the back of a big truck and pelts you over the head like a water canon in the hands of riot police. I almost felt like we were protesting the DAPL. But there was hot cocoa.
There was also a fake santa. Most of the other mothers got their kids into his lap before the kids started screaming. That was my goal. I was hoping for that. All I wanted was a photo of my boys screaming in Santa’s lap. Because I’m sadistic? Ahh, but they are too wise for this madness. Crafty as serpents. They started screaming before we even got close to him. Forcing me to lock one boy under each elbow, sit MYSELF on Santa’s lap, and grin for a stranger to snap our Christmas Memory into eternity. As it should be.
Eames later had Santa rejection regret. I remember the feeling well. His tortured grief nearly drowned out the little Filipino father and his daughter singing, “Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree” behind us.
I love the absurd. I really do. It is the pinnacle of delight. And Christmas is pretty much the pinnacle of the absurd. But it’s perfect. People who are too serious about all the things miss out on the Big Truth… which is that 99% of the things are ridiculous, but the heart of the matter remains: We were together. We loved. We delighted. We were thankful. He was present. It was good.
We try too hard, sometimes, to make sense of it all. I really think we do. Instead, let’s allow the absurdity rest easy in our hands tonight. Let’s leave the weight of our little griefs in the hands of a bigger father and feel a lightness of surrendering the serious suffuse us. Delight is a spiritual discipline that too often we neglect. Let Advent call us back to “treasuring up in our hearts” and “marveling” as Mary did at all the weird goodness that pelts us over the head like a frozen water canon in a 75 degree November.