Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas angel

Okay, I'll admit it; I'm not a fan of graphic representations of angels.  At least not in the form of pretty women in flowing, glowing robes with shining wings and perfect hair.  I figure there's a reason why most people, upon encountering angels in the bible are told to not be afraid.  Doubtful that the appearance of a lovely woman, even one with wings and a halo would terrify someone to the point of having to be soothed and calmed (besides, the bible never describes angels as lovely glowing winged women).  It's a quirk of mine.  Maybe I've become too literal in my years.  Or cynical.  I don't know.  And don't get me started on the naked babies with wings being called cherubs.  LOL

Our Christmas tree has several ornaments depicting the nativity scene (which probably actually happened in something closer to a cave or stone structure than a wooden stable, but I digress).  It also has several trains, which hubby has collected.  And many other miscellaneous ornaments depicting all manner of things, from cooking (of course) to carousel horses to the ornaments that have been collected for our children.  Growing up we were each given an ornament every Christmas, and my mother has continued this for our kids.

Our tree does not have, however, any angels.  Except one.

She's not much to look at, I know.  She's definitely seen better days.  She's made of card stock and felt and her hair just won't go down anymore.  Her halo is crooked and bent and her skirt is all wonky.  She wouldn't even be on our tree at all, except for two little numbers written on the paper lining on her underside.  72.  As in 1972.  The year I was born.  She was my very first Christmas ornament, and has been on the tree every single year since.  She has seen 38 Christmases, and this will be her 39th.  Even in the past few years when all we've had was a tiny table top tree, she's been there.  I contemplated not putting her up this year.  I mean, she's tattered and scruffy looking and not at all like the shiny Hallmark ornaments that light up and spin and play music.  But there's something about her, about her history, that left me unable to leave her in the box.  She may not be the prettiest thing on the tree, but she's one of the most sentimental ornaments I have.  Who knows, maybe some day one of our kids will put her on their tree for their children?  In the meantime, I'll continue to put her on ours, not hidden at the back or tucked down at the bottom, but out front where she can be seen.

And besides, I think she looks pretty good once the tree is all lit up.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Flash Mob

We saw a flash mob today.  It was pretty surreal, even though we were pretty sure something was going to happen (all we had to go on was an internet rumour).  There was an older lady against a wall playing Christmas music at one end of the food court.  Nothing odd there.  Malls have people play Christmas music, and there was a sign for a local charity and some brochures and such beside her.  We grabbed lunch and sat down, still not knowing where it was going to happen, exactly.  We were expecting dancing.  I've never heard of a singing flash mob.

Hubby noticed some microphones taped to some poles, and was suspicious of the amount of audio gear that was set up for just a lady and a Yamaha keyboard.  I saw a guy with a camera wandering around, and there was another with a video camera.

We started looking around, trying to figure out who was going to be a part of this.  There were a lot of seniors around us.  Then the music went from rather lame to a very rousing rendition of Jingle Bells, with quite a grand (and louder) finish.  Then the first chords of the Hallelujah Chorus began.  Suddenly this cute woman who had been talking on her cell phone popped up and belted out the opening "Hallelujah!"  Bit by bit a good 70% of the food court stood and joined in, including many of those seniors.  It was incredible.  Really incredible.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I don't wear a poppy

As Remembrance Day approaches, you'll find me wearing a button from Mennonite Central Committee that reads, "To remember is to work for peace," instead of a poppy. (A note to international non-commonwealth readers - you can find out more about the significance of the poppy here)

I don't wear a poppy
Not out of disrespect
Nor do I view Remembrance Day
As a time to not reflect
On sacrifices that were made
Upon war's great cost
But my heart does not forget about
ALL lives that were lost.
Poppies blow in Flander's Field
To remind us of the brave
But may we not forget about
ALL people in war's grave.
On the 11th I think about my hope
That guns and wars will cease
And teach myself and my children that"To remember is to work for peace."