Merry Christmas to all of my friends and family!
I truly, truly hope you are all enjoying every minute
of the food, festivities, and family.
I am spending the holiday with Mary at her home. We
cooked dinner and caught up last night on Christmas
Eve, and today on Christmas day we're going to treat
ourselves to Season 3 of Grey's Anatomy, which I have
downloaded on my laptop. God bless I-tunes.
When Christmas Eve turned into Christmas in New Zealand, Mary and I were at mass like good little
girls. It was great. Not great in a spiritual way,
but in a way that one can only experience when being
exposed to new cultures.
Let's just say that if you really want to be serious
about the reason for the season, don't go to Christmas
Eve mass in New Zealand with Mary and I. It turns out
that we can't help ourselves when we're in situations
that make us laugh uncontrollably.
Mass was great. Full of memorable moments...
My favorite part wasn't when we walked in as two of
the only 12 white people in the place. It was a
variable Polynesian party with elaborate dress. Note
to self: next year, don't wear jeans to the Polynesian
My favorite part wasn't the odd spelling of the night:
nowell. Which sounds phonetically correct, but looks
odd on the big projector. Nowell, nowell, nowell,
nowell, born is the king of Israel.
My favorite part of the night definitely wasn't when
they sang Away in a Manger, as the words were right,
but the song was wrong. We almost took the mic and
tried on our own, except if you've seen the genetic
size of a Polynesian, you'd understand why we chose
My favorite part of the night wasn't even the priest,
who was at least 137 years old. We had trouble
understanding him, and thought maybe his mouth was
full of cotton or he had drunk too much communion wine
earlier in the day. Nor did we find relevance in most
of what he was saying. This next part was (NO JOKE)
part of the homily, and worth repeating as best as I
can remember (and if you don't believe me, please,
please confirm with Mary...):
"...I know many of you are reminded of the old
American story. [long pause] Once there was a drunk
man and a little boy. They were both at a restaurant.
[pause] The little boy couldn't stop staring at the
man, which was an embarrassment to his parents. He
was drawn to the [pause] flotsam and jetsam of this
[long pause] human existence. [pause] That's what
it's like between us and Jesus, as we are drawn to
And as I turned to Mary and said "did he just compare
Jesus to a drunk?" she was already looking at me with
My FAVORITE part was the at beginning.
After walking in to 'O Come All Ye Faithful' the
priest took a large breath and said (with many
pauses), "May the grace of the Lord be with you. We
welcome you on this glorious Easter morning..."