Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Le Cantique de Noel...
Last night while sipping my hot spiced cider and enjoying my Christmas music (Carol of the Bells) and German pipe (Vauen) with some nice Virginia tobacco from the neighborhood tobacconist, I listened to my Christmas music and finished the last of my Christmas cards (still wishing I had a fireplace and eggnog).
I had spent the afternoon searching for some nice Christmas cards to buy. When I buy Christmas cards I look for ones that have the nice card stock, lithography, typography, gold embossing and engraving, watermarked papers, etc. But, I also only buy cards that have a Christian ethos. Why could I not find any (in Italy)?
From store to store did I search. Every cartoleria and tabacchi shop on my way did I search. Yes, many CHRISTmas cards, but no CHRISTian ones. Does this speak of a secular order?
At my last stop before heading home I paged through the cards and then asked the clerk in Italian, “Are there some with the Madonna and Child?” With a wry smile she replied, “No.”
Just then the elerly Italian granny next to me launched into a declamatory explosion of abuse complaining of the seculars having taken the Christus out of Christmas. Touched was I by this courage (grace) of the ancien regime and to acknowledge her successful point, I left with the word, “Touche!”