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A friend posted this morning that today would normally be a great day, one of his favorites of the year. The last work day of the year. People bringing in food for a potluck lunch. Then sitting around chatting and not working, eventually landing on discussing Star Wars. This year it is just Wednesday.
It reminded me of my work’s
Christmas Holiday Party this year. It was last week over Zoom. No one in my branch went and I don’t know if anyone did. The directorate would always have a meetup on the first Friday on the month in the Before Times. They kept advertising virtual ones during the year so maybe some people are still attending them. I was then reminded of a different Holiday Party years ago. I was in the military and we were having a commander’s call in November. They called the company grade officer in charge of the party to come up and give the details. He lead off with “The Christmas Party will be…”. He was stopped and corrected to say Holiday. I think he said Christmas one more time before being corrected again and finally saying Holiday Party.
A few years later, in a different unit, we were having our summer picnic. The chaplain was unable to attended so the commander asked a captain to say the blessing. She was open with her faith, which is probably why she was asked. It was so different than what the chaplain would have delivered. The standard prayer is so watered down, seemingly along the lines of “Dear Spiritual Being that may or may not exist”. Her prayer was to Jesus and full of thankfulness.
I understand that we are not a homogenously Christian culture. It is still odd to call it a Holiday Party when everyone knows what holiday it is referencing and what the theme of the party is. I was struck by the blessing because it demonstrated how anodyne the typical chaplain prayers are when someone who hadn’t been through military chaplain courses gave a prayer.Published in