O Holy Gifts

, , , , , , , | Related | January 9, 2018

(My mom’s college friend is Irish Catholic, but her husband isn’t. This is during her wedding.)

Priest: “Can you bring up the gifts up after the intercession prayer?”

Husband: “Sure.”

(After the intercessory prayer, the husband brought up the wedding gifts! “Gifts” in the Catholic Church means the chalice and water!)

Getting Gifts Is A Lottery

, , , , | Friendly | January 6, 2018

(Members of my church help buy and wrap holiday gifts for children whose families use a nearby food bank. Some of the gifts we’re wrapping were donated by another church. At the wrap activity, presents have been sorted by age and gender onto different labeled tables. I notice on the “Girls, age three and under” table, a package of fake lottery tickets, which is a bad, bad idea for many reasons, starting with not being a toy. Personally, I wouldn’t even give these to an adult, because some people object to gambling and someone can easily mistake them for real lottery tickets and be upset when they find out they didn’t really win a jackpot.)

Me: *showing tickets to a friend at same table* “This really shouldn’t be a gift. It’s inappropriate.”

Friend: *reads package* “What’s wrong with it? Oh, it’s for ages four and up. The ‘Girls, four to five’ table is there.” *points and then moves fake tickets on the other table, when I don’t do so*

(I wonders what’s going on with [Friend], as this is not like her. I shrug mentally and go to [Organizer #1].)

Me: “Hey, someone donated a gag gift, a pack of fake lottery tickets. I think we should remove it. It’s not a gift for a little kid; they won’t understand. Plus, for families without much money, it’s not really appropriate.”

Organizer #1: “It’s fine; it can stay.”

(I decide this is worth bringing up to Pastor and go find her.)

Me: “Hey, Pastor. Someone donated fake lottery tickets to the toy collection. They’re with the ‘Girls, four to five’ gifts. Is this really okay?”

Pastor: *outraged* “WHAT? No, no, no! [Organizer #2]! Someone gave gag lottery tickets. We’re finding them; they go in the trash!”

(I am glad I caught this and got someone to pay attention. But who thinks donating lottery tickets (fake or real) to a toy drive is a good and kind idea? At least FOUR people, by my count; the donor, the person who sorted the donations, [Friend], and [Organizer #1].)

Getting A Holy Health Check

, , , , , | Related | December 14, 2017

(My father has always attended church on Sundays. He’s not overly religious but thinks once a week is enough. Mum joined a couple of church activities during the week. Then, after she retired, she took on some more, such as running the craft activities and being on the craft board, as well as ferrying older parishioners to and from the church.)

Dad: “Looks like the church has gotten their claws into you; you keep getting forced to take on more duties. You should be home just relaxing instead of all this running around.”

Mum: “But I like it; it keeps me active. Anyway, I volunteered; no one has forced me to do anything.”

Dad: “Well, you won’t see me there. I’ve worked enough in my life and am ready to put my feet up.”

(Dad retires and does just that. He happily putters around at home for six months. One day I call in to see him.)

Me: “Where’s Dad?”

Mum: “Oh, he’s cleaning the church.”

Me: “Cleaning the church? What did he say about the church getting their claws into you?”

Mum: *laughs* “Well, he had a check up at the doctor last week. Apparently putting his feet up doesn’t agree with him. The doctor told him he needs to be more active or he won’t be around much longer.”

(That was over ten years ago. He now is on the church board, helps Mum run the crafts, and still cleans the church, as well as other duties. He loves the activity, is healthier than ever, and has more friends than ever.)


I Know Which Parent Gets A Black Mark

, , , | Friendly | December 7, 2017

(I am a 13-year-old girl. My family goes to a small, very relaxed church. They actually advertise that you can wear anything to church; it doesn’t matter. Being a teenager, I wear mostly band shirts and black everything. I’ve heard some grumblings behind my back about what I wear, but I don’t mind too much. There is a couple and their little girl who are fairly new to our church, are obviously well off, and always show up in expensive suits and dresses. They have been nothing but nice to me so far. I help out a lot with the children services during the sermons. It is Easter and everyone is taking pictures, so I have dressed up with a fancy black skirt and light green blouse and done my hair and makeup. I’ve received a lot of compliments about how I look. After pictures, I am in the children’s room playing with the younger ones. The well-off couple’s little girl, who is about four, comes over and touches my hair.)

Little Girl: “Your hair is so soft and pretty!”

Me: “Thank you! I love your hair, too!”

Little Girl: “Yeah, you actually look nice for once!”

(With that, the little girl ran off to play with someone else. I know she was trying to compliment me, and I also know who she heard that from. Don’t underestimate what you say around your kids!)

She Is Of Your Blood

, , | Related | December 5, 2017

(I am about ten years old. My family is attending my youngest cousin’s baptism. While waiting for everything to start, my 13-year-old sister and I wander around a bit, looking for something interesting to do. We notice that there are small, oddly-shaped bowls hanging from a low wall around the outside of the pews, so we decide to investigate.)

Me: “What do you think these are? They look like ashtrays.”

Sister: “Yeah, but in a church? You can’t smoke in a church.”

Me: “Oh, wait a sec, there’s water in them! I guess they’re little things of holy water.”

Sister: “Oh, cool.” *goes to touch the water*

Me: “NO, DON’T!”

Sister: “Why not?”

Me: “It’ll turn into blood!”

Sister: *now angry* “MOM!”

Mom: *clearly trying not to laugh, but smiling* “Well, honey… she’s got a point.”

(Dad burst out laughing and [Sister] stomped away. I still tease her about it 18 years later!)

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