A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas – 2006

Each year my wife and I watch one or more film versions of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol as one tradition we keep to find the Christmas spirit. I think that, secretly, Anne Marie roots for Scrooge in the beginning, but he always disappoints her in the end by crossing over to the light side when he finds the true meaning of Christmas. I guess she hopes that the ending will change if she watches it long enough, but that never happens.

We also had a chance last weekend to view the Dickens’ Christmas Village at Macy’s in Center City Philadelphia. It is a wonderful return of a traditional Christmas display that generations of Philadelphians have experienced. I only mention this because the fellow playing Father Christmas was so joyful, that he instantly communicated the true spirit of the holiday season to me. I haven’t felt this much euphoria in a long time.

Still, despite the wonderful stories, the glitter and glitz of holiday displays, and the sincerity of the message, the true meaning of Christmas can elude us. Deep down we all know where the spirit of the season can be found. We know this despite the challenges confronting us each year. It’s simply a matter of overcoming the challenges and allowing the spirit to present itself.

We can sense the spirit everywhere with our sight and our hearing. We hear the songs constantly on the radio, full of clichés, but also with sincerity for the joyous wishes of the season. The songs may make us smile, but many of us still feel an emptiness inside. We want to believe in the Irving Berlin/Currier and Ives mindset of those special Christmases that nostalgia dictates don’t exist anymore, but the music doesn’t always work.

The greetings we exchange, “Merry This” and “Happy That”, don’t always reach us. We’re blinded by so many sensations at this time of year. We are given fear if we don’t get that certain gift to place under the tree. We can be made to feel insecure if everyone around us gets the spirit and we don’t. So we try to lay blame on other things.

We blame the weather, “Oh, it’s not cold enough to feel like Christmas”. We blame the media, “Oh, they start playing the songs to early. I’ll be sick of them before Christmas even gets here.” Or we can blame the global situation in general, “How can I celebrate Christ’s birth when so many of us are dying in his name. Surely, this can’t be what He would’ve wanted.”

Several weeks ago I wrote (humorously) about the great disconnect between human nature and the spirit of the Christmas season. My message was one of denial of the season. I’m not taking any of it back. It was my way of overcoming my personal challenge to find joy in the season. Did I succeed? I don’t know; the fact is I’m still working on it.

So, this Monday, after all the gifts are wrapped, the food is cooked, the traveling is done, and the stresses of the last month subside, we should take a silent moment and find that concept so dear to the Christmas season. That is when we will find it, where it had been all along, deep in our hearts. Each of us will find this concept which for now, for this year, I will call it simply



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