Sunday, January 6, 2008
The one thing I like about Christmas is this: People who pay attention to it (even in a marginal and non-religious way) tend to understand that it's a really good excuse to act more humane, if only briefly.
For this one day, and even sometimes in the weeks leading up to it, there's a bunch of people who get all emotional and squishy and generous and vulnerable and peaceful.
Even the people who spend Christmas feeling depressed and lonely are a sign of hope for me -- they seem to "get" at that time (if at no other), that this isn't how it's "supposed" to be -- and that there's no excuse for humans to be isolated.
I even know atheists who can't stand being alone at Christmas, and agnostics who will jump into the Christmas spirit by spreading their bounty to others -- even though they might not be able to explain to you exactly why they did so.
Which brings me to the one thing that I loathe about Christmas: After it's over, everyone -- even those who tout this holiday as the birthday of the "Prince of Peace", and go on about the "Reason for the Season" -- seems quite content to return to the status quo of "dog-eat-dog", "life is hard, then you die", and "every man for himself".
In my opinion, if there is a "miracle" attached to Christmas, it's the miracle of human beings realizing that they are quite capable of exercising their generosity muscles, developing their peace practice, and stretching/flexing their connection fibers.
I want that every day. Not just once a year.
I miss Christmas.
This post was inspired by this song, which has been a favorite of mine for 20 years, and brings me to tears every time I hear it:
Dedicated to Andrew Olmsted
Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:59 PM