It was a dark and stormy night – what a catchy phrase – and the Spice and I were on our way to the church and our first ‘gala event’ of the season, the senior’s Christmas banquet. The night was truly dark (as most nights are) and it was gusting rain, to one intensity or another. We were on I-20 and one exit short of getting off when suddenly our lane slowed to a stop/crawl. We slowly advanced up the interstate and into lateness for our event.
When we finally got to the point of the blue lights, it appeared that at least two and maybe three vehicles were involved in this very wet accident and it would seem that the hurting folks had already departed to a healthcare facility. We were about 15 minutes late for our supper event, but they were still in the ‘meet and greet’ stages so it was not so bad. We were shortly called to order, were greeted officially, grace was offered and we began to go through the food line of this catered happening.
The food was definitely decent and was followed by either a double or triple chocolate slice of cake – I could have used some vanilla ice cream on it. A good friend of ours played the piano during the meal and afterwards asked the group to join her in singing some Christmas carols. The final part of the evening was a participation singing of the 12 days of Christmas. Twelve “volunteers” were called to the front, each of us was assigned a day and the song started with passing the mike and chiming in when our part came. I was number 12 and only had to sing my short part once – the Spice had the ‘five golden rings’ with much more participation.
There seemed to be a bit of confusion about the words of day 9 through 12 and when I looked up the song on the web, I understood why. One version had 9 drummers drumming, ten pipers piping, 11 ladies dancing and 12 lords a-leaping – while the other had 9 ladies dancing, 10 lords a-leaping, 11 drummers drumming and 12 pipers piping.
Several parodies of this song have been given over the years by many different ‘artists’ – many of which are not worthy of printing but one told of what ‘Garfield’ the cat got for Christmas – 12 mice a-dancing, 11 hair-balls hacking, 10 cups of coffee, 9 spiders wacking, 8 plates of pasta, 7 bunny slippers, 6 dogs a-kicking, 5 million presents, 4 jelly rolls, 3 fruit cakes, 2 teddy bears and a partridge in a pear tree.
More in tune with real life, sadly to say, is the version given in the 11th episode of the first season of the TV show ‘Scrubs’ and it tells the reasons that doctors try to avoid being on call on Christmas Eve. They figure they would get: 12 beaten children, 11 drive-by shootings, 10 frozen homeless, 9 amputations, 8 burn victims, 7 strangled shoppers, 6 random knifings, 5 suicides, 4 beaten wives, 3 OD’s, 2 shattered skulls, and a drunk who drove into a tree. Wow, welcome to big city Christmas!!
Even in the small town, expectations about the event and material things can mask or hide altogether the real reason for the season – the celebration of a savior coming into the world – Jesus. The reason for the lack of joy during this season or any other is the lack of a relationship with Christ, who is the giver of joy. ec