As I have gotten older Christmas has become just another day. Family gatherings are sparse nowadays – everyone spread from side of the US to the other. The burdensome thoughts of dear friends and family members now departed weighs upon me. The memories all shared with these folks at this time of year, the fun, excitement, merriment, joy and everything else – long gone albeit not forgotten. Two family members, now, have departed just days before Christmas. Casts a pallor upon the holiday.
People seem to focus more on the commercial aspect of things. Materialistic greed, giving and expectations to receive pollute an otherwise prophetic event. The convergence of many religions around this time of year is a politically correct issue to steer around. If anything this holiday should be a time to reflect on deities or in the very least reflection of primordial beliefs of the profoundness of the Universe and what it is – and how we relate to it; what it provides us.
I have known too many, as Dolly Pardon sang about many years ago, hard candy Christmas’s. I’ve never apologized for such. It happens. Only a few years I can recall have been rather extravagant. The rest somewhere in between. Give me a fireplace and simple home cooking and I can call it a good Holiday.
The fondest memories, in a somewhat grumbling way, has been “…some assembly required,” and “…batteries not included.” Many Christmas Eve’s have been spent preparing gifts from “Santa” at midnight or later (3 children) just so there would be a “Wow” gift in the forefront and foremost under the tree. Oh yes, the ever present, “I thought YOU got the batteries,” “No, I thought you did,” with the children in the background lamenting that such and such toy won’t work. [sigh] Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. There has to be.
Christmas is really about children not adults. Adults have a way of perverting the whole aspect of the Holiday. We’re not innocent, we’re not easily awed by simple things or things of wonder. We’re cynical and gossipy. We have to out-do someone. We have to one-up the next person.
There is a point, somewhere between putting away the wrench for the night and the noisily bursting to get to the tree, that always happens to me. After watching the midnight Masses/Christmas Eve programs on TV, in the pure quietness and tranquility of that Eve something descends upon me. It instills a moment of deep reflection and thought. I am awed. If just for that fleeting moment. It never has failed. I hope it doesn’t this year. I have doubts. But Christmas is as Christmas does. It will be Christmas.
My children are grown now. My Daughter has a family of her own now, living in Fairbanks AK. Oldest Son will be leaving for basic training in less than 3 weeks. My youngest Son has one more year to go – if he can muster his grades up a bit. Another Christmas without my babies near. Ah, that’s life. Sooner or later they scatter themselves to the four corners of the world.
This year we remain homeless and broke. Christmas had better happen - G and I need for it to.
Despite all the negative and the seeming hopelessness on our joint lives, considering all the years for richer or poorer, I still believe in the miracle of Christmas. I’ve seen it. Doesn’t always happen but I’ve seen it happen. It is then you will see a grown adult filled with awe and wonder. Awesome!
To everyone who follows this Blog, I wish everyone all the resplendent things that Christmas is and creates; that it fulfills and nourishes all of you.
HAPPY NEW YEAR