If times are tough this holiday season…don’t forget the humor

Editor’s Note: Throughout the year, we at the Crested Butte News are asking various members of the community to write a guest editorial. As we approach the holidays, we asked the Reverend Tim Clark to share some thoughts. Remember that after this Sunday, the days will begin getting longer and for that, we can all be thankful. Happy holidays…
—Mark Reaman

Have you ever seen a black Santa Claus? Sorry Tuck, you’re too skinny. That image for some people makes their heads cock sideways like my Labrador does when I ask her if she wants to go for a walk.
Or picture this: My four-year-old daughter Rachel asked me if we greased up Santa enough, would he slide down the flue pipe of our new wood stove? “You’d have to leave the door open for him, Daddy, so he wouldn’t burn up in there,” she said. “What about the bag of gifts he carries?” I asked. “Oh, he got them from the baby Jesus, so they’re all really small,” she replied.
Seriously, as we all celebrate the holidays, one of the greatest gifts we can give one another is humor. And seeing as though many of us are financially challenged during this economic downturn, the fact that it is free makes it all the more attractive.
Last night while driving home from church I heard on D.L. Hughley’s CNN broadcast a satirical rendition of “I’m Dreaming of a White Kwanzaa (with all my African American friends),” which was originally written by a Jewish man. I was laughing so hard that I had to wipe the tears away to see the road in front of me. Perhaps what made it so funny was that it cut through all of the wrapping paper that materialistically obscures the true meaning of the holidays and laid bare the continuing universal need for unity, justice, love, peace and goodwill toward all people to be proclaimed anew in our world.
If Smokey the Bear and Sparky can transcend their respective species and team up in a campaign to prevent indoor forest fires among Christmas trees, then surely we can overcome our own ethnic, religious and philosophical differences in the midst of global crisis and shed new light through our age-old traditions. The diversity among us may just add to the beauty like the multi-faceted sparkle on new-fallen snow at sunrise and we can thank The Almighty that it is the same warm star that rises in the east each morning to greet all creatures great and small.
If times are hard, then there may well be a blessing and silver lining in the clouds that darken the sky. In our times of need we turn to our spiritual roots more intentionally and rediscover the reason why they have lasted so long and so well. Holiness may be found living in the most unlikely of places if we can stop taking ourselves and our stuff too seriously, to recognize it like a child.
Oh, and by the way, I hear there may be a little mermaid in the Christmas pageant this year—I just hope she’s learned to share her wings from last year.
Blessing to all,
Rev. Tim Clark
Union Congregational Church

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