Wednesday, December 15, 2004

In Defense of Christmas

Last night I spent an hour on sites like the Buy Nothing Christmas and Steve the Pro's Anti-Christmas page. And I have to say, I agree with all of it. They're right on about so very much, especially Buy Nothing, which doesn't condemn the season, just its rampant consumerism. But in my heart, I know we need Christmas. Not as Christmas, but as a season of pure holiday. In fact that's what I've started doing: making the entire month of December a holiday.

A month-long holiday? Is that nuts? Well, first of all, I want to suggest celebrating is as a Holy Day (ok, Holy Month). Holy days are about filling yourself with joy and wonder, reaching out for what is good and meaningful. It means looking into the Great Ineffableness and saying "Wow!" and "Thanks!" and "Blessed Be!" And I think I need a whole month of that.

Even as a pagan, who tries to maximize the presence of the sacred in her life and promote her connection to the wowness of the is (I paraphrased that from one of my favorite quotes about geology), I feel like modern life sometimes comes between me and holiness. The government, clocks, cars, microwave ovens, the internet and my daughter's poopy diapers can all spur me into a zone of jittery grumpified contemporary-stuporism (I refuse to say modern, because the modern period, as defined by the beginning of secular humansim, is one of the most hopeful and holy periods of humanity. Unfortunately, two world wars gave it a big-ole kick in the pants). I can get myself back on track, but what I need is an excuse to laugh at that world-view, to eat a lot of chocolate and escape from it.

So I say embrace Christmas. Even if you're not a Christian, throw your arms around it. Pagans were celebrating the same season long before some lousy Pope co-opted it. If you are a Christian, reach out to Christ and his messages. Heck, even if you're not a Christian, reach out to Jesus's messages, because he's one of the best, kindest philosophers of all times--right up there with John Lennon, in fact.

Put some love in your heart. Play with children, because the season is all about our hope for them and the wonderful things they might accomplish. Eat some fruitcake. Sing a silly song out loud. One month of that, and we might all feel more peace and joy.

No comments: