Monday, July 07, 2014

Christmas in July


Some folks celebrate "Christmas in July." Now I know many of the notices about this are related to advertising - as long as the items are appropriate I don't object.

As for me - I celebrate Christmas year round!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy New Year


It's New Year's Day. Of course, given our location, we could celebrate it 24 times!

I have some other Christmas Season related work to do, so it's not a time of complete rest - but it is an easier time than the rush up to Christmas Day, and the Day itself.

By the way, I've already heard some children have made resolutions to be on the Nice List this year. Ho! Ho! Ho! It's never too early to start being good. Don't wait until Christmas to try - that leads to unnecessary worries.

New Year's Day is a good day to start.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Santa Claus in the movies


One of the questions I sometimes get asked is if I've seen certain movies about me, and if they are true.

Yes, I have seen many of them, but not all - the violent horror movies I avoid. Of the ones I have seen, none of them are true, though some are well-done and delightful.

The movies all focus on me as magical gift giver. The problem is that Christmas is not just about gift giving as in toys and clothes and such - though the giving of gifts is a good thing. Nor is the day - or me - just about family, or togetherness, or romance, as good as those things are.

Christmas is about the birth of the Messiah. I am called a saint (though I think myself unworthy of the title), and I was in my earthly life a bishop. Religious faith is central to my life and who I am. I pray daily. I go to daily Mass. I keep Jesus in mind in all that I do.

None of the movies I've seen deal with who I really am or the faith aspect that underlies my ministry or Christmas.

But as films, some of them are good. If I had to pick one, my favorite is the old Miracle on 34th Street.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas


Ah ....

The Christmas rush is over, so I'm sitting here enjoying a cup of hot chocolate and listening to some Christmas carols played on guitar.

Christmas Mass was good. Father always waits for me to finish my deliveries before he celebrates the last Christmas liturgy. Many of the elves attend as well - the workers, their spouses, their children. Although I am tired, the joy of the celebration fills me with energy. And it's a chance to thank the One whose birthday we mark today (even if it isn't his true birthday).

But now, the weariness is setting in. I have been known to fall asleep in this very chair on Christmas Day.

May it be a blessed and restful day for all of you.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Childhood


Zbigniew Ting has flown back home. We had a wonderful visit.

His stories about his grandchildren charmed us. I'm still smiling at some of their antics.

Those stories also got me to thinking about my own childhood in Patara. I remember the hills and streams I used to explore. I remember the streams I used to wade and swim in. I remember the sea, stretching off into the distance, with a constant stream of boats. I wondered what it would be like to be on one of those boats sailing to distant lands. Little did I know that I would fly to lands I could not even imagine!

My parents were devout Christians, and Christian travelers often came to our home for meals, or even to stay. As a boy I listen to their talk of distant lands and strange animals. But none of them ever mentioned reindeer!

Ah yes, so many memories. But in the truth of my youth lies all those legends people just had to tell about me ...

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Gifts


As I enjoyed my visit with Zbigniew Ting, the more melancholy thoughts I'd had yesterday left me for a while.

I also thought of my darling wife.

God in his wisdom gave me a companion who is as long lived as am I. I had never expected such a gift or such a companion, for as a priest and bishop I had accepted a celibate lifestyle. But God saw that what was best for me was to have a wife, just like some of our Eastern brethren.

"Oh, one change since my last visit," Zbigniew interrupted my thoughts. "I'm going to be a grandfather again."

"Marvelous," I exclaimed. "When?"

"Just in time for Christmas," he grinned.

"Ah. A gift."

"Yes. Number seven."

At that moment I spotted my wife outside the window.

"We both have gifts to be thankful for," I said.

Monday, July 08, 2013

A friend


Zbignew Ting arrived today. He's the bush pilot who flies up with mail, supplies, and news of the world. He's one of the few humans who knows where my headquarters is. He's also one of my best friends.

He'd been laid up for a while - shoulder problems.

"I'm afraid I'll need some surgery," he said. "It might mean no flying for a couple of months."

One of the bad parts of being as long lived as I am is that I don't age, but many of the people I love do.

Zbigniew is not my first good friend.  All the others have gone home to be with the Lord. I'm happy for them, but I miss them. And I sometimes have a hard time watching as they age.

As is Zbigniew.

Once he's had the surgery and recovers he'll be back. But eventually, he'll have to stop flying. I might get to see him on trips to southern lands, but not as often, and gradually the years will take their toll.

But for now, I'll enjoy his latest visit.