Sanitizing Christmas

I thought I had it set up to record the homily tonight, but the portable drive was empty–I hadn’t downloaded all the Christmas audio, and I didn’t replace the cartridge.

Anyway, the pastor was relating the telling of a child’s Christmas story at his family gathering earlier this week. He and a brother were talking about how the Holy Innocents were missing from the story. Ditto Mary and Joseph on the brink of divorce until Matthew 1:18ff. A few other things, too.

I was reading the other day about a blogger who was takes exception to the stuff that doesn’t appear in the sanitized Christmas stories:

And all this bosh about the Holy Family being homeless or Jesus being born to unwed mother. It sounds like something absurd the media would misquote the Pope saying.

I think no advance reservations in Bethlehem isn’t homelessness, strictly. Being on the run from Herod’s genocide: that probably involved some days or weeks without a place to live. Not exactly a recreational camping trip. Refugees in Egypt–there are a lot of people in the world, a few tens of millions maybe, who can identify with being on the run from home, and unjustly.

Does Christmas have to be sanitary, Christmas card-pretty, and familiar? Or can God turn thing son their head every so often?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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One Response to Sanitizing Christmas

  1. Nora says:

    Well…consider the source…just sayin’. I can see where Mary saying yes to something unplanned might put her on the defensive.

    The whole story is messy, and that’s the point. That’s what Christ came to do — to turn everything on it’s head, the first shall be last, the innocents, children and fools will make more sense than the self-appointed pundits, intellectuals and holier-than-thous. A child with sketchy beginnings is the Savior all eyes have been searching for…

    Pretty, Precious Moments versions of the nativity miss the point completely.

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