Well, yesterday morning when I got up and looked at FUBAR (our very, very crooked Christmas tree) like Jim Carrey in The Cable Guy I declared: "You're Going Down, Red Knight...Down, down, down" Well...okay I called the tree FUBAR not Red Knight...but it did indeed go down...and out the back door by the trash cans...to await trash pick up on Friday. I did get a twang of remorse as Keith dragged it out the back door...and thanked it for being our tree this year. I will remember it as the crookedest tree I have ever..ever had.
The living room is back to normal now. The trimmings are all packed away... and I've got most of the pine needles vacuumed up. So kind of...at least here at the McAndrew household...the Season is truly over.
I know some people celebrate Christmas into January and there are the Greek Orthodox who celebrate the holiday later on....but for most of us, the Christmas season begins the day after Thanksgiving (although I lag way behind there) and it ends on New Year's Day. For most colleges, winter break lasts longer than that...and there will probably be drastically reduced Christmas merchandise on the shelf across from the Valentine stuff for a while to come...but Christmas 2009 is pretty much over.
Our celebration was quiet...and on New Year's Eve...while all my offspring were out running around, Keith and I toasted in the New Year here in our living room (no place I'd rather be) with a glass (or two) of wine and a movie. Silent Night. Another movie based on a true story.
The story takes place in war torn Germany, at a hunting cabin where a German woman (Elizabeth Vincken) sought refuge from the fighting for her son, Fritz, on Christmas. First three American soldiers, one severely injured, ended up in their home...followed not too long after by three German soldiers. Elizabeth was a spunky one...hated war...and insisted that if they were going to seek refuge in her home on Christmas, they would all have to agree to a truce and their guns had to remain outside. Surprisingly they all agreed.
It was a heartwarming holiday story...demonstrating that even though people may be very different in many ways, in the end, perhaps we are all more alike than different.
An account of the real, true story can be found here.
And just now as I was going through snippets of info and disjointed thoughts that I have saved for future posts, I came upon a quote that annie posted to EU the other day...a quote by Nouwen:
Being Safe Places for Others
When we are free from the need to judge or condemn, we can become safe places for people to meet in vulnerability and take down the walls that separate them. Being deeply rooted in the love of God, we cannot help but invite people to love one another. When people realize that we have no hidden agendas or unspoken intentions, that we are not trying to gain any profit for ourselves, and that our only desire is for peace and reconciliation, they may find the inner freedom and courage to leave their guns at the door
and enter into conversation with their enemies.
Many times this happens even without our planning. Our ministry of reconciliation most often takes place when we ourselves are least aware of it. Our simple, nonjudgmental presence does it.
Which is exactly what happened in the movie...they left their guns at the door and entered into conversation with their enemies...at the urging..insistence... of Elizabeth. She did not condemn or judge the soldiers and her home became a safe place for them to take down the walls that separated them. Great quote...great movie...great (true) story.....