Posts Tagged ‘Black Friday’

The Day After Thanksgiving

November 27, 2009

and all through the house, not a creature was stirring….because they were all sleeping off the food hangover from a day of overindulgence and gluttony.  Uggh.  I feel terrible right now.   It’s  times like this I’m really glad to be Orthodox and observing the Nativity Fast.  A return to moderation come Monday will do my gastrointestinal system some good.

Blessings to all who have tolerated reading this blog and find anything remotely meaningful.  Blessings to all who are going out today to face the Black Friday shopping madness, those who are recovering today from family-induced psychosis, and to all the Aggies who need some quiet alone time to ponder the loss yesterday to that university in Austin.

Have a great laugh with this turkey of a video!   And isn’t it always the case that the cat gets the blame for everything, when we all know it’s really the dog that’s guilty.  You just can’t trust an animal that will sneakily swipe stuff off countertops then lick your face and wag their tails to reinforce the facade of trustworthiness and honor.  Dogs -the real sleeper cell terrorists in our midst.

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Twisted Marketing at Restoration Hardware

December 26, 2008

Somebody needs a good smiting and I think it ought to start with the marketing or advertising department at Restoration Hardware.

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This gem of spiritual advice was in the window of the Restoration Hardware store in the Alamo Quarry shopping center.  I was driving around looking for a parking place on Monday and this caught my eye.    The sad thing is that for most of the scripturally illiterate people in this country, this ad might register something slightly familiar with them.  Kind of like a few words from a song they know they’ve heard before but just can’t remember where.  We have now come down to twisting our Lord and Saviour’s own words to sell s#$@! to people who may or may not be aware of the true significance of Christmas, aside from shopping, presents, and feasting.  It’s all about giving so you can get in on the receiving.

(My ranting rings a bit hollow I think as yours truly shoves Christmas cookies and tamales into her mouth for breakfast, and is surrounded by the detritus of wrapping paper and toy carnage.)

The original context for this bit of propaganda is the Gospel of St. Luke, Chapter 11:9-11.

So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?

 

St. John Climacus in the Ladder of Divine Ascent spells out clearly what this passage means and why and how we petition God through our prayers.

Ask with tears, seek with obedience, knock with patience. For thus he who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened…[but] all who ask and do not obtain their requests from God, are denied for one of the following reasons: because they ask at the wrong time, or because they ask unworthily and vaingloriously, or because if they received they would become conceited, or finally because they would become negligent after obtaining their request.

God knows exactly what we need even without our prayers, but it’s through prayer that we we are trying to understand His will and communicate with Him in a united, cooperative manner.  In the passage from Luke above, Jesus is speaking about our boldness before God through prayer, but that doesn’t mean you should ask Him for retro door knobs and 700 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets.   That’s the same heresy the health-and-wealth gospel preachers have been passing off for years.   Jesus doesn’t owe you anything, certainly not a new set of furniture, a new car or designer clothes.  You want stuff like that,  ask Santa Claus.

Post-Thanksgiving Malaise / Pre-Christmas Blues

December 1, 2008

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I finally woke up from my turkey and pie lethargy yesterday morning.  Two days of continued post-Thanksgiving gluttony went by in a blur of drowsiness, TV watching and general indolence.  Thank goodness for having to drag my lazy arse to church on Sunday morning. 

I have never been one for the “thrill” of getting up at 4:00 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving to sit out in the cold waiting for Circuit City or Macy’s to open, and then push and shove (or actually trample) people to get inside the doors.  So having avoided the crowds for Black Friday, I actually went to Super Target yesterday afternoon.  I  was going to buy new lunch boxes for my sons, whose old lunch boxes had become too torn and impossibly unsanitary to pack with food.   I did also buy one big box of plain Legos as a Christmas present for my 6 year old (I absolutely refused to spend $80 on a box of Star Wars Legos) and a few long-sleeved shirts for the boys, then I wandered over to the Christmas decorations area. 

I’ve always been a big collector of Christmas ornaments, but I just looked around for a few minutes before I was overcome by a feeling that all this glittery stuff seemed pointless and so disconnected from the true meaning of Christmas.  Tell me what glittery snowflakes, light-up animated polar bears and pink tinsel have to do with the birth of our Saviour?  (I also find it ironic that all of our crappy, commercial Christmas decorations, even things like Nativity scenes, are made in China.  Of all places, the plastic stuff that is supposed to connect us to a Christian holy day is made by workers in a country that officially and unofficially tries to suppress the Christian faith).)

I don’t know what it is with me every year right after Thanksgiving.  I am in no mood to immediately switch gears into the Christmas blitz.  This depressed feeling isn’t new, but it feels just as surprising every year I experience it.  I think it’s just too much, too soon.  What I want is a quiet interlude focused on Christ and his coming.  Not the commercialism and the overwhelming amount of work that needs to be done to “prepare” for Christmas – baking cookies, buying presents, decorating the house.  But it’s so easy to prepare for the wrong things because we feel pressured to accomplish the secular goals of Christmas, rather than the spiritual ones.  And are those spiritual goals so much more time consuming?  Prayer and fasting in some ways do not take the same amount of time, but in other ways, they take a superhuman effort.

You’d think I don’t love the Christmas season, but I actually do and yes, I’ll come around.  Give me a week or two and I’ll be into the fun stuff too.   Did I mention I absolutely love Christmas music?  The religious and the cheesy secular.  Listening to that usually gets me in the Christmas mood.  But until then, I’m going to try and refocus on  Advent.  As we remember in the Paraklesis Service for the Nativity of the Lord,

Let us purge our bodies and souls of sin
that with a pure conscience we may welcome in Bethlehem,
Christ the King of glory who cometh to be born of
the Virgin pure and sinless. Come, let us adore Him!