Friday, November 26, 2010
Joy 61/82: Quitting Christmas
When I was 20, I worried about what people thought about me.
When I was 40, I quit worrying about what people thought about me.
When I turned 60, I realized they weren't thinking about me.
Now that I've reached the age that people aren't thinking about me, I feel free to be more who I am so I am now declaring my freedom from Christmas. Today is Black Friday, the day when the Christmas season officially begins ... at least in the commercial world which absconded with Christmas many years ago. The Christian world has tried mightily to "keep Christ in Christmas" objecting to the generic "holiday season" terminology in spite of the many different cultures that celebrate this time of the year.
Several years ago, I realized that the celebration of Christ's birthday (although no one truly knows his birth date) did not hold a lot of meaning for me. While I think Christ's message of love is a truly important one for our world, it seems that it has been lost in a morass of rules, regulations, prohibitions and intolerance of other paths. And, the almost frantic buying nature of the season is a jarring note completely out of tune with all holidays related to the season. So I tried to quit Christmas but the timing wasn't right. There were still little children involved and family hooked into the presents, parties and decorating frenzy.
Things are different now. No one is depending on me to make their holiday merry. So, I am going to develop a new ritual and celebration. Going back to the pagan celebration of the darkest night of the year, I am going to honor the return of the light. I'm not sure how right now but it will not involve buying things no one needs or letting anyone else buy me things I don't need. I will look for ways to share light and love and truly think Christ will be ok with that.