A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Monday, December 8, 2014

Happy St. Nerdnuk Day! - Reclaim Christmas

Do you know who St. Nerdnuk was? I would guess not. One of my seminary professors had created this fake saint day for the church calendar. He came up with the idea of having a St. Nerdnuk Day because it was my professor's way of reclaiming Christmas.

As the story was told, my professor didn't like it when family members gave practical gifts to each other for Christmas. He created this new pre-Christmas Feast Day to be the day when we give the practical and utilitarian gifts to each other so that Christmas can be reserved for more special gifts.

Some examples of practical gifts? Toasters, oven mitts, underwear, cooking utensils, coasters, pillows, pens/pencils, etc. These types of gifts are meant to be given on St. Nerdnuk Day. The more special and personal gifts are to be reserved for Christmas.

This professor has since passed away and I don't remember the exact details of St. Nerdnuk Day. I'm sure he had a special date for it in December. I just don't remember which day. As a way of honoring this professor's creative way of reclaiming Christmas, I have taken it upon myself to establish the Monday after the 2nd Sunday of Advent as St. Nerdnuk Day.

Since that would be today, I apologize for not giving you any time to purchase, wrap, and deliver practical/utilitarian gifts to your kin. Maybe there will be some "Day after St. Nerdnuk" discounts tomorrow if this article goes viral by the end of the day. Or, be my guest and go to a department store tomorrow and ask the clerk if you can get 15% off the toaster oven so you will have this to give away next year on St. Nerdnuk.

Actually, I'm a little surprised that I even remember the name of this made up special saint day. I'm not sure if this would be the correct spelling for St. Nerdnuk. I'm spelling it like it sounded when he first told me this story. I often wonder what St. Nerdnuk looked like. Maybe the picture above looked something like him. This could become the new logo for St. Nerdnuk Day.

Whether or not you choose to celebrate St. Nerdnuk Day is totally up to you. Hopefully this new Feast Day will remind us that we are to save our best gifts for Christmas Day. As our church seeks to reclaim the true meaning of Christmas this year which is all about offering our gifts to be a blessing to a broken and hurting world, let's remember St. Nerdnuk Day.

If he actually lived, St. Nerdnuk probably would be famous for this quote, "Remember, Christmas isn't about buying each other new sandals and camel saddles. Christmas is about giving a generous financial gift toward your local church's special Christmas missions offering."
- St. Nerdnuk, North Africa, 4th century (I just made this up but it sounds historically plausible.)

Happy St. Nerdnuk Day! 

[This post is in loving memory of Dr. James Nelson, Professor of Church History, United Theological Seminary.]

No comments: