Cheaster Parade

Christmas Cross

Christmas Cross
by Karen P. Simpson

My favorite part of Christmas is the “Cheasters” parade.

My daughter just screamed, “MOM!  How rude! Don’t be offensive!” This probably will be my most unpopular post but I’ve got to get it out there. It’s been mucking up my head for days.  So stick with me if you dare.

Otherwise, I’m glad WordPress and Facebook don’t have “hate” buttons.

Most “regulars” think about Cheasters!  Admit it!  I’ve been going to church since before I was born and Cheaster grumbling is a favorite pastime. Some absolutely hate Cheasters and insist upon Cheaster free services during really obscure times, while others say Cheasters are necessary evil to pay the bills to do whatever we want during the rest of the year without them.

Thank you grandmom for making everyone go to church and teaching them to put something in the offering.

I’m newly proud to admit, I really like Cheasters!  Those Christmas/Easter Christians that arrive every, you guessed it, Christmas Easter, full of wonder and excitement (and noise…).  I love snuggling up to them twice a every year, catching their wave of excitement, admiring them and praying (talking) to God to “get it!” I want to be part of the party that celebrates the Cheasters! I feel like running up and down the aisles like I just won the Super Bowl.  I get that excited! I even think it is great when they make their own parking spots, drive in the wrong way or do whatever else to shine a big light on their awkward presence.

I know I’m not alone.  A few other “regulars” secretly like Cheasters. They appreciate a packed church, are grateful their family joined them for service, pray we catch a few.  But I admit I go a bit overboard.

Yes! Unfortunately, every year I over do it. I know I’ve over done it as soon as one suddenly asks an usher or a church/family member, “Who is this woman?”

OOPS!  Of course I get a free pass because someone explains I’m the pastor’s wife so I get the familiar weird aunt stare meant to keep my behavior in check while giving me permission to stay. I know I’m strange.  I’m even doing a little jig while I write this- completely off my rocker.  Church members reading this blog-protect your family because here I come.

My excitement dates back to my childhood. I’ve been snuggling up to Cheasters all my life, looking for that new family to take me home and treat me nice.  My mother was so crazy during the holidays, I was beaten up, tired and desperate to find sanctuary  But I’ve been safe for years.  I have a new church family.  I don’t need to embrace these intruders. Or are Cheasters a really important part of the Christmas story?

The Christmas story is strange!  Have you ever wondered why the angel Gabriel didn’t visit Mary’s parents or her rabbi?  Sure a nameless angel visits Joe (Mary’s hubby-to-be) in a dream but how about all the other important churchy,  synagogue, watering hole folks to protect this girls’ reputation? Sure thousands of years later we consider her blessed but it seems without the Holy Spirit working magic she was probably considered loose (just to be polite).  Which maybe why no one bothers to save space in their hotel room for their VERY pregnant soon to burst forth life cousin, niece, neighbor etc… it is so much more polite to talk about someone if they aren’t there.

And then come the Cheasters! A Cheaster gives them a stable and a manger to lay God’s newborn child.  Does God run to the church (synogague) to announce the birth of His son? Nope!  He sends his messengers (angels) to the lowliest Cheasters of all – stinky shepherds!  You can imagine the racket they made coming through town with all those sheep in the middle of the night.  You think they left their sheep unattended? Imagine being awaken by cranky sheep being herded through town in the middle of the night.  Don’t blame the sheep, the shepherds (grandma) made them come.

You can roll over in your bed, go back to sleep and wait for the season to pass but I’m getting out of my bed to go hug a Cheaster!

By the way I married a Cheaster and God gave him a noisy flock to herd.  Watch out! I LOVE Christmas! Join me for the Cheaster parade!

Sorry, just one more, “Have you hug a Cheaster today!”  Maybe I’ll get buttons made!

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6 thoughts on “Cheaster Parade

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