Ho ho ho...

I blame television - especially Hallmark made-for-TV movies. Why else would we have such high expectations of warm, cozy family Christmas celebrations? I mean, nothing in my family experience has led me to expect a TV Christmas, yet every year I'm disappointed because it's not like that. This year has been a doozy, though, as the fights started before we even laid eyes on each other. A few organisational e-mails have been going back and forth... who's bringing the salad, who's bringing dessert, that kind of thing... and suddenly they degenerated into vicious attacks for no good reason. Well, no good reason other than the fact that the attacker was almost certainly drunk when he wrote the e-mail and possibly thought it was funny. It wasn't. There has been a half-hearted, almost apologetic e-mail since then, although the word 'sorry' was never used. It made things slightly better but I'm still rather dreading Christmas lunch.

I've been thinking about the old 'you can't choose your relatives' thing, which led me to wander over into thoughts about my Christian family. Sometimes I think I'm closer to my Christian family than my actual (blood-related) family, but of course that's taking a very narrow view. I'm very close to the Christians I know well, who love me and whom I choose to love, but there are many more Christians in the world and they're my family too. Like my blood family, some of them annoy me. I disagree violently with some of them. I vote differently. I don't like the way they dress, or eat, or the way they behave in public. Sometimes they embarrass me. But like my blood family, I am compelled to love them, care for them, pray for them and accept them - because we are family; united in Christ. Forgive me, my family. Happy Christmas.


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