Anyone who grew up Catholic knows Christmas Eve mass is very important, no matter what stage in life you’re at.

For your parents, it’s about showing face and showing that you’re the perfect little family, even though your dad just smacked the shit out of you in the parking lot for hitting your sister.

For kids, it’s all about acting out the Nativity or singing in the choir in 2nd or 3rd grade. I was in charge of ringing the Communion bells one year. Very important job. Without me, that cracker doesn’t turn into the Body of Christ and that Costco wine doesn’t turn into Jesus’ blood. I rang the shit out of those bells. The parishioners at Mary, Mother of the Redeemer ate well that night.

For college kids it’s spotting your crush from high school that you haven’t seen since you left. Maybe you’re hot now after one semester of college. Chances are you’re still a swamp monster, but that doesn’t mean looking ain’t free.

For the olds it’s all about getting in those last minute prayers to save face when you meet ‘ol St. Peter at the Pearly Gates after being a piece of shit the majority of your life. Everyone is there. Good news for me, my family gave up on the Catholic thing about 10 years ago so this blog doesn’t affect me. Chances are it affects you.

Christmas Eve mass this year falls on the Dallas game. That game starts at 4:25pm. Everyone knows mass starts between 5pm – 5:30pm. If your grandparents were like mine, they probably head over at 3:30pm to save seats. Right now you have four months to prepare. You can’t miss the game. It could be for the division. You’re going to get an elbow to your ribs every time you check the score. You can’t DVR it because you’re around 5,000 people. Someone is bound to spoil it walking out with you. There’s also a chance the priest is giving a Homily looking like this:

So if missing Mass is a no go, what do you do?

Do you convert? Do you abstain? Do you become one of the 500 people who have been excommunicated in the last 20 centuries? It’s up to you. Judaism isn’t a bad choice. You still get eight crazy nights, wedding ceremonies are like 15 minutes long, and you can spit on people and blame it on reading the Torah. Pork and shellfish are forbidden so that might be a bit of a problem and they might have to peel back your pecker if your parents kept the casing on, but I don’t know how that works. Good news: you can rest on the couch with some frozen peas on your crotch while you watch the Birds win the division.

The most logical answer is you go to midnight mass. I’ve been to midnight mass. It’s alright. Don’t really understand the point of it, but at my age you typically have a good buzz the whole way through. If you have kids, there’s probably no chance your wife goes for this. Imagine how drunk it’s going to be if the Eagles win. That collection plate would pay for a new CCD wing. Who’s not going to break Padre off a little bit of scratch after hitting a TD parlay? Eagles fans are pound-for-pound the most generous fans after a win. That’s science. Imagine how sad it’ll be if they lose, though. You’re already miserable, hungover cause you started drinking at noon, and you’re already locked into the promise to your mom or wife. Maybe the right answer is Atheism. It’s sure the long term play in my opinion. Good luck. Chances are Michelle Ferreri is going to have a busy January.

We talked about this more on Crossing Broadcast: