This post was written on Christmas Eve, even though posted later.
It’s Christmas Eve, and I feel that the general tone should be somewhat seriously joyous and expectant, and besides, I didn’t write my “To say or not to say Merry Christmas” blogpost yet this year, and I have one . . .
But it’s also lunchtime, and I decided to open some gifts. For those who don’t know, or don’t remember, my official job is “Director of Christian Education” at a church. I oversee children’s Sunday school and the youth group, and any adult Bible studies fall under my “auspices,” too. This year two little girls from Sunday school handed me a Christmas present after our Birthday Party for Jesus, and one of the youth handed me a wrapped gift on the same day. This delighted me, and I wanted to wait to open these gifts until Christmas, but at the same time, it seemed like extra stuff to bring to Paul’s, and somewhat weird to open presents to myself from people no one else present (get it? present?) was going to know. So today I sat down to my lunch and opened the presents.
The two little girls (and their mother) had given me a comfortingly large bar of chocolate and a lovely-smelling lavender soap. Aww, I thought. That’s sweet. The teenager’s gift was large and square and flat, and if this were the 80’s, it might have been a toss-up as to whether or not it was a calendar or a record, but since it isn’t the 80’s (a fact for which I am frequently grateful), I was pretty sure it was a calendar. I wondered what sort of calendar theme this lovely, vivacious, affectionate young lady would have chosen for her youth group leader, but I’ll have to say when I opened it up, I burst out laughing–alone, mind you, except for Oscar–and had to acknowledge that none of my guesses had even come close.
It was a Nuns Having Fun calendar.
Apparently this concept has been going on for a while, but I had never heard of it–maybe because I’m not Catholic and also rarely watch the Ellen DeGeneres Show (although I like it when I do). I think this gift is hysterical and awesome, but it does raise all kinds of questions.
Did this girl get me this present because she resonates with my sense of humour enough to know I would think it was hilarious, or because she thinks I’m nun-like and I need to lighten up? Or because she thinks I’m nun-like but also fun? Or because she and the rest of the youth–and maybe the rest of the church–need a category for single women in full-time Christian work and only the Catholic church has one? Or . . . It could be any of these things, really, because probably none of them are all that far off the mark, depending on the day. It’s certainly not the first time I’ve been compared to a nun or asked if I was one, though it is the funniest. I can’t find it offensive on any level because I find it delightful instead, and besides, this young lady also recently registered “aghast-ment” at learning I’m almost forty, asserting that she had thought I was twenty-five. She can probably still get a lot of mileage out of that remark. Whatever the reason she decided this calendar was for me, it might explain why she looked a little taken aback when, after she handed it to me, still wrapped, I showed her my nice sparkly new engagement ring. Pretty sure nuns don’t have that kind of fun . . .