Saturday, November 18, 2006

Wallowing In Christmas

Christmas decorations are everywhere. In some places, they were up the day after Halloween. Almost two full months before Christmas, and we are ready to go.

I guess people want to extend the personal Christmassy feeling for as long as they can. After all Christmas is a very special time of year – a time that fills us with good cheer and benevolence. Maybe they think that they are making the feelings more poignant by pretending that it’s Christmas in early November.

Of course, the opposite is true.

It is common knowledge that the more we have, the less we appreciate what we have and the less important those things are to us.

What’s your favourite food? Imagine eating it for every meal for two whole months. Every Breakfast, every lunch, every supper and every snack in between. Then, at the end of the two months imagine having a big celebration where you serve the same blasted food for dinner. Methinks the specialness of the meal would be somewhat compromised.

Or, imagine walking through your front door two months before your birthday only to find elaborate birthday decorations all over the place. Something tells me that after living with that every day for two months, the actual birthday itself will be a wee bit anti-climatic.

Or what about hugs. What if you gave everyone a big, warm hug every time you ran into them – every co-worker, every neighbour and every new acquaintance. Something tells me that hugs would become significantly less meaningful to you.

It’s the same with Christmas.

Not only do we have to live in a culture where the real meaning of the day - forgiveness, hope and peace on earth – is buried beneath a perpetual avalanche of crass commerciality and superficiality. We have to do it for two whole months.

Some people I know don’t mind. But I do. I think most people, especially those with children, would agree that Christmas should be special. The definition of ‘special’ is:

“Surpassing what is common or usual; exceptional”

What we have done with Christmas, with our incessant wallowing in it, is to make it common, usual and unexceptional. By extending Christmas day into a two month, light filled celebration, we have made the actual day a lot less ‘special’ than it should be.

And I, for one, grieve because of it.


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