Thursday, December 25, 2008

on call

The advantages of not celebrating Christmas:
1) It’s a great time to catch up on your work
2) It’s a peaceful time to walk our dogs. No one is on the streets. At all.
3) Movie marathons can be fun, but only with DVD’s. Believe it or not, those who do not celebrate Christmas don’t dig watching the marathon of Christmas usually on the TV or radio this time of year.
4) We can bond with our favorite Chinese take-out place. (psst.Buddhists don’t celebrate Christian holidays either.)
5) We can be on call to help our Christian friends.

Although we definitely did #1-4 this year, #5 ended up being the most important. One of our friends (a Christian clergy member, actually) had a scary car accident on her way home from an 11 pm Christmas Eve service. She is a bit battered in body and spirit but ok. Her car is totaled. We’re going over to her house this evening and will, of course, be on call to help drive her to get to her car to fetch her belongings when the holiday is over.

Another friend called; her family went to visit her elderly father-in-law in Toronto. Apparently the father-in-law is in need of extra help and the family will stay longer. However, her eldest needs to return home so I will get to pick up her college age son at the bus station when he comes back into town in the next day or two.

A day like this makes it absolutely clear to me why we don’t all need to celebrate the same holidays and traditions. Some of us need to be completely without obligations to help each other. Since Jews don’t celebrate Christmas (the birth of Jesus isn’t part of our religious tradition, so we don’t commemorate it) we don’t have any religious services to attend, big fancy meals, or other commitments. We can help out others today. (Likewise, I’ve had some wonderful non-Jewish friends take time out to help me get ready for Passover or other Jewish holidays.)

I guess it’s nice to be needed!

Thanks so much for all your warm wishes for a happy Hanukah and your cheers for my new nephew Noodles. Reports are that he is doing well at home, but the grown-ups are sort of exhausted from his medicalized feeding schedule…every three hours, day and night, via a tube. Still, he is now home, and we are happy. It’s now the fifth night of Hanukah, but having the baby at home with his parents is a gift that we continue to cheer about.

Wishing you enjoyment, regardless of what you celebrate.

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Blogger Geek Knitter said...

It is good to be needed, isn't it?

I have a feeling that even if you'd been celebrating, you'd still have helped your friends, yes?

December 26, 2008 at 10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I may offer one thing: my permanent head injury to my balance was not immediately apparent after my accident. I didn't let the paramedics transport me to the ER: big mistake. There they might have diagnosed the brain swelling that was apparently just starting; it wasn't till the next day that something was clearly seriously wrong. And I had already been pretty much dismissed by a family practitioner who entirely missed it, so I didn't bother to go back in to my clinic and thus didn't get the meds that would have tamped down that swelling till the moment was past. And thus the nerves in the brain were torn.

If your friend took a hard blow to the back of the head at the head rest (I did twice, being the middle car) and especially if her car didn't have airbags... I am concerned. I hope she's okay and stays okay.

And I would say you celebrated the true spirit of what Christmas tries to convey. Thank you for that.

December 26, 2008 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Geek Knitter/Andrea: Yes, of course I would have helped!

Alison, you make a good point. I have checked in several times with my friend and she doesn't seem to have any head injury at all. Her discomfort has been minor, but we're keeping a close watch. Thanks.

December 26, 2008 at 12:43 PM  

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