Reading, writing & a drink-metic...Christmas Eve traveled to Cincy where the nieces and nephews opened the OSU-themed presents I'd gotten them and one of them asked, with all the innocence of youth, "are these [OSU socks] meant for me?" Not having to get your non-Godchildren gifts means one-stop shopping at a Buckeye store. Poor timing, as it turned out, given le scandal. Meanwhile back at our homestead brother-in-law Greg, an almost semi-professional actor, played the part of Santa for the little ones. They apparently didn't know who he was what with the disguised voice. From playing Scrooge to playing Santa in a week. He's been busy.
On Christmas Day there was 8am Mass, a minimalist one free of hustle or bustle or choir but still Christmas, be it a high or low Mass. Christmas is not a feeling but a fact, and that first Christmas was in many ways low-key. Still, I always want, one day, to go to Midnight Mass. Call it a bucket list item.
The usual Sunday morning was in force but for the agenda was to get an air mattress that wouldn't sink in the middle of the night like a book-room Titanic. Stopped at Bath, Bed & Beyond and blanched alliteratively at the $159 price tag. Decided to try to repair existing one, which fortunately held its air this time for whatever reason. I "feel" $159 richer.
Like a switch flipped, the Christmas music plays no more on Sirius/XM satellite radio. Proof that if I want to hear carols, I best hear them out of season or buy them for my iPod.
Meanwhile the six-day hiatus is on the cuspward side as I listen to Harvard's classical music station and drink an Ed Fitz porter. I feel as though I'm ready to go back to work, having read my eyes off (mostly non-fiction, including most of "Paul Among the People", about St. Paul.)
Had the "healing breakfast" of McD's. Oh but that Wildberry shake felt good against my raw throat. Headed to the 'brary around 10 and then subsequently read, slept till 4pm, with a timeout for 20 minutes on elliptical trainer. Enjoyed coffee's strong delights too.
The book on St. Paul was a bit on the liberal side of things but was interesting nonetheless. She examines some of the harder sayings of Paul and tries to soften them by offering the context of the times. Alan Jacobs, who is one of the most interesting non-Catholic writers working in the spiritual field these days, said it was one of the best books he read in 2010.
Also read some of Chesterton's Heretics, and was greatly pleased to note that even hypocrites are not beyond the pale for Chesterton the Good. From Heretics:
We ought to see far enough into a hypocrite to see even his sincerity. We ought to be interested in that darkest and most real part of a man in which dwell not the vices that he does not display, but the virtues that he cannot. And the more we approach the problems of human history with this keen and piercing charity, the smaller and smaller space we shall allow to pure hypocrisy of any kind. The hypocrites shall not deceive us into thinking them saints; but neither shall they deceive us into thinking them hypocrites. And an increasing number of cases will crowd into our field of inquiry, cases in which there is really no question of hypocrisy at all, cases in which people were so ingenuous that they seemed absurd, and so absurd that they seemed disingenuous.