This year my wife and I dined at her parent’s house for Christmas Dinner.  Her entire family was there, and we had a guest, Rev. Winthrop Brainard from St. Bernadette’s down the road.   Father was, among other things in his early life, a soldier in the service of Great Britain, a professor of Austrian History at Harvard, and an Anglican Priest.  Fr.  Brainard’s company was very well met, as he regaled us with stories from his many adventures (he’s even been to my home town in Kentucky), often beginning his pre-Catholic anecdotes with “When I was a heretic . . .”

During the evening, I asked him a question:

Will:  “Father, why does Christmas make people miserable.”

Fr. B:  “It’s simple.  If I took The World seriously, I’d be miserable, too.”

I also told him a joke, which he already knew (mind you, this is after he told me a lawyer joke I’d never heard before):

Will:  “What’s the best thing about being a Mohel?

Fr. B: “The tips!”

This year, my mother-in-law produced seventy-five pounds of rare roast beef, mango chutney, green beans and walnuts, gravy, Yorkshire puddings, potatoes, green salad, four kinds of hard cheese, berries, cherries, cake, cookies, chocolate truffles, beer, wine, sherry, three whiskies,  liquors, and special coffee.  All in all, we had a ten-hour love feast.

As Father Brainard often observed, “Yum!”