Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Behind schedule.

This year, for a number of different reasons -- including some nearly valid ones -- Christmas hath crept upon us as a thief in the night.

This means that a lot of stuff we normally do (i.e. that we do NOT fail to do) has gotten done late and amid much rush, with imprecations muttered under the breath. At least from my end of things. In my beloved's case there has been much motion -- none of it forward -- which allows her to labor under the misconception that movement equals progress.

But!

Because I am a fairminded sort, I shoulder half of the Christmas burdens. One task which was mine this year: the Making Room Thing.

For those of you "who cannot be arsed" to remember, this is the day when we gather all the $#!+ toys accumulated since last Christmas, inspect ruthlessly and donate the stuff that simply isn't being used. People who ought know better say Advent's not a penitential season (minor or otherwise) but will readily agree it is a preparatory season in which the believer makes room for the Holy Child. And making room means making some #$%&ing room. The stuff that is in new (almost always still in the original plastic wrapping, to boot) is rewrapped and put under our church's "Giving tree" and will be given on Christmas morning to the underpriviliged children in the poorer areas of our fair metrop.

(The other stuff is just donated in bulk. But that's another post for another Christmas.)

As a consequence of my worldview -- which may or may not be a particularly unique one -- I am of the mind that we are our brother's keeper and that task is (watch this closely, here) an individual moral obligation. So, it behooves me to actually do* something for my fellow man. It is also important for me to make sure my children actually latch on to the concept, as well. No matter how rough you have it, someone always will be worse off and if it is within your power to help, then help.

Also, because it was my turn to handle this task, I was a bit more...um...ruthless. Appeals to my pity to spare the FIFTH box of K'nex building sets, or the FIFTH Monopoly game or the SIXTH through NINTH Play-Doh playsets, etc. all were as seeds which, in the rocky soil that is my implacable will, could find no purchase. Off they all went.

You simply would not believe, if I told you, how much stuff (new, never opened, never given a glance since Dec. 25, 2007) was hauled away.

So here are some photos, that ye may believe indeed.

This is about 30% of the way into the packing extravaganza. The rules are the gifts must be wrapped and must state whether the gift is for a boy and/or a girl and the appropriate age range.

Here we are about 2/3 packed. Eagle-eyed readers will note those small bags were the ones I used as goody bags for my wife's surprise party last year. (Glad the eBay seller sold me a gross of them!)

Here we see the oldest lad carrying out bags aplenty on either arm. Eventually we had to make two car trips.

And, here are gratuitous shots of our living room mit der tannenbaum

And a gratuituous shot of a test run of the tablescape in progress.

So there you have it.

-J.

* as opposed to "supporting something being done"