I spent Christmas in Las Vegas. No, not in front of a one-armed bandit (much) or at a card table. I have relatives, by marriage, in Las Vegas-my sister-in-law spending her first real Christmas after her husband passed away. Christmas airline prices being what they are, we decided to drive, and it’s close to a 9 hour drive. Our trip there was non-descript, as we did it mostly in the middle of the night, when there was little or no traffic. It was just an exhausting trip.
After about a 20 minute rest, we, as a group, went to *gasp* a buffet. Didn’t eat gluttonously, I must say. I went for seconds and had dessert, but didn’t overstuff. (In fact, I didn’t gain an ounce over the weekend, despite eating buffets three out of four days) Went out to pay respects to the slots for a little while. I lost my $5 and quit. Went home to veg out for a while, then my nephew wanted to take us out to another buffet. I was still full from lunch, so ate mostly salad…and dessert. And then blissful sleep. Thus ended Christmas eve, about 8pm. Santa coulda landed on the roof, and I wouldn’t have heard.
Christmas day, we relaxed a while, then went to Mass at the Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer, which was virtually packed. Several impressions of this Mass. First, the pianist must have been one of the lounge pianists, because his playing and singing sounded that way. He wasn’t bad, just not liturgical. Secondly, at Mass during the day of Christmas, I look forward to hearing the Nativity narrative of St. John. But the priest decided to use the gospel from Midnight Mass. Third, was fun watching all the CEO’s (Christmas, Easter only). They often don’t know when to stand, kneel, or sit, and this was the case. All in all, a decent Mass, at which my intention was that God would help me focus on the sanctuary without paying so much attention to the assistants. Christmas dinner was another buffet, this time a Japanese buffet called Makimo’s. Very, very good buffet. I thought I wouldn’t get past the sushi, but I forced myself. Again, I didn’t overindulge. I had one sushi/sashimi plate, then cooked food plate, then dessert. Afterwards, we went to the Aria Hotel/Casino just to walk around. Then to the Orleans to pay our dues. Again, I lost a little, like $10. Then home again. Friday was similar, though not eating any buffet. We went for seafood, being Friday, gambled a bit. I was actually working remotely.
Saturday, we went for a Filipino buffet, then gambled some, then went to Mass (not in the best attitude, I must admit, but such can be the case with less-devout family), and then we went to one of the premiers of a new show at the Wynn Hotel/Casino. The show is called Showstoppers, and by Las Vegas standards, it’s fairly tame. No nudity or profanity, though scantily clad women abound, and sexually suggestive actions take place. The show is supposed to be Broadway showstoppers from the stage, but to me, it was rather ho-hum. Personally, I don’t consider much to be good on Broadway lately. Even the big shows have tawdry plot-themes. The most time in Showstoppers was spent on Chicago, Caberet, and All That Jazz, none of which I consider the best of Broadway. There were two hat-tips to older Broadway from Oklahoma! and Annie Get Your Gun, but even those were about women who can’t get a man. Anyway, if you’re looking forward to it, I won’t dissuade you, but to warn you.
And then, there’s the long drive home. I looked at the traffic patterns as an analogy to faith. Especially when it’s a four-lane highway (two lanes each way). What happens is that the majority of the cars are in the left lane going past the lumbering trucks. But there’s always the guys who speed up to just behind the truck, then force their way into the left lane. You can figure it out, it’s just a head-shaker. Because of what I saw, I would like to encourage people to drive more courteously, and think of others while getting to your destination.
Merry Christmas, everyone.