December 26, 2005

Jesus Expects Fireworks?

Fireworks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, one could count on fireworks twice a year. First, fireworks were always an essential part of the 4th of July celebrations. Most cities would have official fireworks displays on the night of the 4th, and many people would throw their money away buying fireworks for home use. One could generally expect to hear exploding fireworks around residential neighborhoods until about 10pm. The second time was New Year's Eve, although this was a much lower key thing. There were no big, organized fireworks displays and virtually no family-oriented fireworks. Instead, there tended to be a bunch of drunk high school kids using them in a haphazard manner. On this night, one could expect to hear sporadic fireworks until about 1am.

Here in the South, there appears to be a regional obsession with fireworks unlike anything I have previously experienced. While organized displays only happen on July 4, many families appear to include fireworks in their celebration of the 4th, New Year's Eve, and as I recently learned, even Christmas. Evidently, Jesus expects fireworks. He expects them to begin a few days before Christmas eve and continue until a few days after New Year's Day. Moreover, he expects them to continue all night with total disregard for one's neighbors. What Jesus definitely does not expect, however, is for those shooting fireworks into other people's yards to clean up their mess afterward.

The other noteworthy difference is the type of fireworks we're talking about. Families around here are using the high-powered stuff I had only previously seen during city-sponsored displays. It seems legal to buy anything one wants, and there have been many times when I have wondered if what I am hearing is actually dynamite.

The day after each of these holidays - and for at least a week around Christmas and New Years, I get to celebrate by picking up debris from my yard.