Hopefully this time it doesn’t involve Mormon Undies/Garments. I have to call them garments now because some Mormon troll came on my blog (sorry, nope, I get to be Fidel and not let you write on here. Its less the Mormon stuff and more the lies and/or inability to understand the concept of a paragraph and a run-on sentence) and informed me that I never knew the actual term for them. Of course not, me being the kind of Catholic who knows how to wield her hyerbole. Besides, didn’t Vatican II specifically state that Mormons wear Holy Undies, not garments? Hey, I’m an Easter People. I can make Vatican II say whatever I damn well please.
Anyways, onto the awkwardness.
Advent. Is. Awkward. At least for someone from a non-practicing, barely Catholic back-ground. As I get closer and closer to the marriage date (12 months to go after this December!) I am thinking more and more about traditions. And by thinking about traditions, I mean thinking about the absolute derth of them in my home.
Here is my house’s tradition of Christmas (what’s Advent, again?): Agnostic Dad bitches and moans for weeks about how ungrateful kids never treated their toys well, how commercialized it is, how its all a waste of money. He’s the one person I NEVER say Merry Christmas to, because Scrooge in his pre-kidnapped-by-dead-people days would have told Agnostic Dad to lighten up. Mormon Mom frets about the Christmas party that she somehow always gets sucked into organizing (because seriously, there’s only her and maybe 2 other people who even have a clue what to do in the first place) and plays the Christmas Station on the Radio until we all puke blue and white and gold and red and green. Never-home-lucky-bastard brother starts dreaming up crap he wants, crap he wants to buy, and crap he doesn’t want. I just try to stay out of everyone’s way, and hope someone will give me a gift card to a Catholic store somewhere. I also set up my antique Nativity Set and pretty much make an altar in my room.At some point, usually last second, the tree goes up. We’ve long ago stopped putting up lights, due to it having been deemed pointless by agnostic Dad.
And why not?
We never really invited Christ into his own birthday party, and the idea of waiting in hope of Christ’s birth (the whole point of Advent) never crossed our minds. Advent wreaths? So wasteful, and besides the candles would make a mess. Singing songs and praying together as a family? The last time I remember that happening was when my Grandmother was alive, and there certainly were no songs. Going to Mass or church on Christmas day? Mormons apparently don’t find that day too important. I guess when Jesus is only one God among many, why bother?
I have always wanted to change that tradition we have. I have never really wanted a ton of presents. What I wanted was excitement, love, joy, family. Yeah, a book or two is nice. Yeah, I would appreciate a gas gift card. But what I really want has nothing to do with things, and I’m never going to get that from the family that I have.
As I get closer to getting married, I’m taking a long look at the traditions I’ve grown up with. I don’t have to make my future children suffer what I suffered. I can make new traditions, ones that are based in faith, hope, and love. And also a good sense of humor. This world needs more joy.
So, here is my plan: I have 12 months and possibly 9 or so more where I will not have kids. Let’s face it, I’d be overjoyed to “end up pregnant” my first time around. So its time to try a few traditions out. I’m hoping that I can end up with a mix of Mexican Catholic and American Catholic traditions, since 1) I’d appreciate something more familiar and 2) I don’t want my kids thinking that Mexican=Catholic rather than Catholic=Universal.
So, I’m thinking this Christmas its time to start a real Advent wreath. I’m also thinking of giving Mr. Serrano and friends I come across every day little advent gifts of candy. In addition, I’m making a trip to the Catholic store to get me some decidedly non-inclusive Christmas cards. Not that I’m a Santa hater, but I would like people to be reminded this is actually a Christian holiday, not just a “OMG BUY ME LOTS OF SHIT” kind of day. Can you imagine showing up for Eid at a Muslim friend’s house and telling them “Happy Holidays, please lets be politically correct and not mention Allah?”.
I’m also going to actually say Merry Christmas. At work. On the phone. I don’t care.
And finally, I’m going to start researching Mexican traditions (other than the “its December so it’s time to drink yourself silly” tradition).
All in all, I think it will be a fun little journey. Hopefully by the time I have kids I’ll have some traditions set up and ready for them to pulverize.
….*note to self*: The Nativity Set has already been shattered a couple of times. Might be a good idea to invest in a terrorist-attack/toddler proof contraption to avoid having to glue all those pieces together.