Christmas is over, and I have returned to an office full of clients whose holidays were apparently not filled with Yuletide cheer. At least two of them have spent their Christmas in the nurturing hands of the Travis County Correctional Complex. Nothing like Christmas Eve on D Block. All of them want to know why I wasn't returning their phone calls on Christmas Eve.
On the up side, one of our younger clients had his carjacking case dismissed the day before Christmas, so that lucky little son of a gun was out just in time to spend the holidays with his heavily armed, drug dealing family. God bless us every one.
Kudos to Erin Stewart for writing me to let me know she's alive. Erin's one of the good guys, so let's all give her a round of applause.
I went to church on Christmas Eve with la familia, and although I've long since given up any strong Christian beliefs, I think going to church was still a good thing. For one thing, I like the music. Those hymns and orchestrations were all written and meant to be played in a church, and there's nothing like hearing a choir and/or orchestra in a church, particularly at Christmas time. Also, I still love church for the tradition. It reminds me of where I come from and the beliefs that are central to my family's history. Although I may have some issues with some of the metaphysics and cosmology of the Christian faith, it's hard to argue with much of the morality. Most of it, when you really pay attention to the Bible, boils down to treating other people with respect and displaying generosity. Sure, people warp the shit out of it to serve their own ends, but that's (sadly) inevitable with any institution on power over a long period of time. Christianity is, for the most part, a clever mechanism used to keep mankind in line by promising life after death if one leads a moral life. It lends comfort and encourages us to care for one another, and it has survived for thousands of years by way of its tradition and message. Our particular church, the Lutheran church, has also served as a keystone and reference point for my family's sense of morality since before we immigrated from Finland.
Anyway, as long as the church isn't used to oppress anyone, I think it's fine by me (of course, there may be questions as to how a religion can be non oppressive if it damns nonbelievers to hell, but I'll leave that for some other time).
OK. I gotta do some work. Point being, I think I actually enjoy going to church at Christmas, even if I now feel more like an observer than a participant.