I couldn’t resist writing something on this historic date when the month, day and year are all the same numeral. I guess it’s going to be a long time before it happens again (would that be sometime in the year 3001, right?) I’m not sure what I have to write about that anyone else would find interesting. Most of the time now I’m either thinking about Scottie and how to serve her, or about Cambodia and getting ready for my trip – oh, and I think a bit about Christmas and how I feel about the whole holiday picture. I suppose writing about that would help me clarify how I feel and think.
I have a different perspective that’s hard to explain to a lot of people because for years I didn’t observe Christmas at all. That fact lets me know that observing it is not really necessary to my happiness or to my family tradition. I lived without it quite well and I could do it again. And in light of the commercial nightmare it’s become in this day and age I would just as soon do without it. Never would I design a holiday where I have to give gifts to every friend and family member I didn’t want to insult, all at the same time. That is purely a tradition started by the marketing devil. Spending money is such a big factor in the modern celebration that it takes the next six months for lots of people to recover financially, and it spells success or failure for lots of businesses. Seems like birthdays would be a more do-able way to schedule gift giving (unless all your friends and family were born in the same month, and what are the chances of that?) All this to say that I’m pretty much crossing shopping off of my December to do list. I feel the same way about Black Friday and Cyber Monday – pure avoidance is my goal.
There are certain naturally occurring things in December, associated with Christmas that I like a whole lot. I love poinsettia plants. Hmm … I guess that’s about it for Florida. But if I lived in the north I would like snow, and fir trees. I like pretty lights at any time of the year but since it’s dark so early in December it’s especially delightful (good word) to see them as decorations.
Now if people who believed Christmas was really Jesus’ birthday and were celebrating that fact – if they wanted to keep it like they keep other birthdays, that would make sense to me. But it doesn’t make sense to me that we basically teach selfishness and materialism to our children, as they make lists and think about what they want instead of what they might give to Jesus. What is really true about Christmas is that most anyone can celebrate it without even knowing anything about Jesus. How would we feel if everyone in the world came to our birthday party for the food, and door prizes and didn’t even know who we were?
Another thing I kind of like – the fact that the days have grown shorter and darker and colder, and then the solstice occurs and the opposite starts to happen. That is very like the theme of Jesus’ birth bringing light and hope to mankind in the darkest of times which is probably one of the reasons Christians celebrate the nativity at the end of December. It’s also why others worship the sun at that time (to get it to come back) and I’d just as soon not get mistaken for one of them.
This is all I have time for – got to go, but I’m still thinking.