Coal for Christmas…


“Mom, Christmas is a non-denominational holiday…” The boy argued. Staring back at him I replied, “No, Christmas is the celebration of Christ entering the world, hence the name, Christ-mas”. “Mom, you know what I’m talking about. Muslims celebrate as do pagans”. He argued back. “Bay, they celebrate Santa Claus, not Christmas. They just piggybacked onto our holiday. But Christmas is the Christian world welcoming our savior’s birth into the world”.

One would think, given the eleven years of Catholic school education he has enjoyed, my son would already have these concepts down pat and considering his current grade in Religion is an A+, I think it’s safe to say, he does. What he’s been telling me lately–both verbally and via body language is simple, “I don’t know if I believe in God because I don’t believe going to church is important. Furthermore, I’d rather stay at home, hooked to the internet and waste my brain cells rather than go and reinforce the notion of God in my life”.

“Really,” I asked. “There are just so many variables in this life mom and God is one of them. How can I be sure it’s not a fools errand to worship an entity that doesn’t really exist, except through imaginations”. “Okay, if that’s the way you feel…” I said. “So that means I don’t have to go to mass with you…” He smiled. “No, you still do. What I’m telling you is as long as you live in my house and your father and I pay your bills, you’ll attend mass–because as a family that’s what we do. However, come Christmas, you can celebrate your non-denominational “Santa Claus” while we celebrate CHRISTMAS. Oh, and since you’re not celebrating Christ’s entry into the world, you may not like what you find in your stocking”. “What, wait, what are you saying?” “No CHRISTMAS presents for you, bud…plain and simple…unless of course you count the lump of coal in your stocking”. “MOM! That’s so not funny or fair for that matter.” He angrily replied.

“No one said life is fair buddy bay…God told us life would be difficult, but he sent his son into the world to help make our lives better and to free us from sin. I’m celebrating his birth, you’re choosing a non-denominational route–you’re choosing coal”. “Now you’re just being mean,” He said. “Be that as it may, my house, my rules…” I replied as I exited the room.

Qualifier: When I was in college I had my own crisis of faith which last for almost twenty-five years. I’m not surprised that he is having one too, but does he have to be so precocious? I mean hell, two more years until College. Play ball bay, play ball until then bay, and for goodness sake, don’t tell your mother you don’t believe in God two weeks before Christmas. I mean seriously dude, what were you thinking?





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