My roommate in college used to joke that everything I brought from home was possessed. The TV decided to prove her right one early morning when it came on, unaided by human hands. It was selling cleaning supplies, a revelation for us in our less-than-kept apartment.
She claimed the evil originated from being forced to take massive doses of heavy metal while under my brothers’ possession. They loved ACDC, Kiss, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath and worshiped these bands regularly at very high decibel levels. Evil had apparently invaded my digital appliances from the TV to the alarm clock, revealing itself at odd hours, in awkward situations, proving her right again and again.
Last Sunday, the day following the ward Christmas party, I was gleefully handing out Rauchfangkehrers (chocolate chimney sweeps) and Gluecks Spilz (Lucky Mushrooms) to our pew-mates during Sunday School. I had Mozart Balls hidden in my purse and gummy bears in my pockets (gifts from our friends in the ward). Not being able to understand the buzz of conversation around me between Sunday School and Sacrament meeting, I started people-watching. I spied a deacon unwrapping a 6 inch hollow chocolate bunny, he took a slow bite and closed his eyes, silently enjoying the melting chocolate. My neighbor was quickly shoving a kinder-egg in his mouth in order to let my boys play with the toy inside. And as I was watching, I was also trying to decide who else I might “share” my chocolate with so I didn’t have to take any home.
After I came out of my reverie and off of my sugar high, I realized that I’ll never forget that Sunday, where we shared treats and love, smiles and friendship, and where the smell of sugar permeated the halls . And now, whenever I hear someone talk about Black Sabbath, along with reminding me of my possessed appliances and my brothers’ music choices, I think I will always remember that Sunday, our first Christmas in Austria, when everyone’s breath smelled of Chocolate and everyone’s smile was extra sweet.
Sometimes warmth and love, fellowship and laughter come wrapped in strange packages.