All I want for Christmas

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Yesterday I finished my final exam and today I left Hamilton for Sarnia. It was great to finally be done yet another semester of school and I was super excited to see my family. Before we could begin the trek to Sarnia, we had to go to the mall. Christmas shopping. Probably the worst place to go in December is the mall. Shopping, combined with a bazillion people in the mall, is not my favourite activity. Needless to say, I was kind-of grumpy throughout the entire experience. People were everywhere, most of them presumably Christmas shopping like my family. Not only was I ticked off about having to shop, but I was thoroughly annoyed with the ‘holiday cheer’ around me. The same girl cut in front of me in line in two separate stores. Not once, twice! I tried to catch the eye of the sales guy, but he gave me this sympathetic sorry-about-your-luck-look. Then, this lady wouldn’t let us use the extra chairs at her table and then proceeded to eat alone the entire time we were in the food court! How wrong is that? You can’t save-sees a chair that you are never going to use…it’s like calling shot gun when you’re not going on the trip!!! Wrong on so many levels. Instead of telling the lady she was a scrooge (the lesser insult that came to mind) my family just laughed it off and continued on with our day. Lastly, the road rage in traffic jams was horrible. At least the guy that cut my dad off gave a thank-you wave, ‘cause that makes it all better. My dad was a bit annoyed at the traffic and I tried to be positive and said in response to the drive, “just let it go dad, it’s Christmas.� Christmas! But what is Christmas really? What has it become? What have we let it become? Christmas isn’t a time to give people extravagant gifts or to tolerate people you normally don’t like and won’t be nice to in January. Christmas isn’t just a break from school or a fancy meal with turkey. Christmas isn’t even just a time to hang out with friends and family. While all those things are great and I enjoy them all, I think if that’s all Christmas has become, we’re missing out on the true meaning.
Remember in the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, the cartoon one, not the remake with Jim Carey. Even when the Grinch tried to steal Christmas away, the people gathered together to sing, love and celebrate. In the movie, the Grinch stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?" "It came with out ribbons! It came without tags!" "It came without packages, boxes or bags!" Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store." "Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!" And what happened then? Whoville they say, that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day!�
Yes, shocking. Christmas can come without x-boxes, DVDs, clothes, i-pods and money.
For me personally, Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus; the tiny little baby who came to live a life of love and be a friend to sinners, like me. When I heard that due to the fact that Christmas happens to fall on a Sunday and that many churches, like my own, were not having service, I was a bit overwhelmed. Yes, Christmas is a time to be with family, but what better family to celebrate with than a family in Christ? To be completely honest, I think it’s a cop-out. I’m saddened that Christmas is no longer about loving God first and loving others second. Christmas is quickly losing its meaning in this selfish, fast-paced society and shutting the church doors on Christmas is not the answer. In fact, I think it’s the complete opposite of what I want for Christmas.

posted by Rachel Pede @ 9:56 PM   4 comments

Allo Marie, Baguette, Bon soir, Potato

Friday, December 02, 2005

I used to know how to speak French. Quite well actually. I took French all throughout highschool and was an active member in the French club. Yes, that's right, French club. Heck, I even won a medal for most enthusiastic member. It's proudly displayed at home in my room. I loved French class for many reasons. Monsieur was great and even when he pulled my desk out into the hall screaming "Tait-toi, Ferme la bouche, Rachelle" I know it was really out of love. Secondly, Nicki and I would yell fun French words from our dictionaries at each other across the room and see who could find the best new vocabulary word that day. But mostly, I loved the idea that I could speak another language. Sometimes I would even find myself thinking in French, it was great. Sadly, I haven't been in french class in 3 years now and I've lost almost all my ability to speak and comprehend the language. My mom took French too and all she remembers now is pomme de terre (potato). I want to remember more than that in a few years. Really all I want to do is speak another language fluently. French, Spanish, German, anything. Languages are fascinating. Sometimes friends on the bus speak in other languages to each other. Today I was on the bus and I could swear that they were talking about me in whatever language they were speaking. I pretended they were complimenting my excellent fashion sense, but they were kind of laughing, so maybe not. I wanted to pretend that I knew another language and start speaking it to spite them, but then I realized I was alone on the bus and talking to myself in another language might give them more to laugh at than by just keeping silent. I think that is definitely a perk of being able to speak another language. Being able to tell secrets to your friends without hurting anyone's feelings or sounding like a snob because it sounds like normal everyday conversation to the innocent bystander. Other fun things I could do with another language would be barter at a local market for the best deal, sing romantic foreign love songs, and get a great job as a translator or a secret agent. So today I added ‘learn to speak another language fluently’ to my list of life goals. And as for me and my French, maybe I can have a night of mandatory French-speaking so as to avoid only remembering how to say potato. . .

posted by Rachel Pede @ 9:25 PM   1 comments