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Merry Christmas! Boy what would Charles Dickens think today? 
25th-Dec-2010 03:41 pm
Alaric the Goth
 Today I stayed home with Ron and Alex. The only presents we opened today were a small package of gifts from our friends Raychyl and John Stewart. 

We didn't put up a tree.
Our turkey dinner consisted of a small package that we threw in the microwave.

It's okay.

Today I rewatched A Christmas Carol—the one with George C. Scott playing Scrooge. Man, what did Charles Dickens unleash when he sternly reminded everybody that they should open up their pockets and be full of generosity of spirit on this day?

Would he foresee the bloated commerical mess that Christmas would become, something that Ebenezer Scrooge certainly saw but was chided against seeing.

The avalanche of charities, many complete scams meant to take advantage of people'a good hearts and spirits.
The inundation of commericals meant to pry even more money out of people, as they are encouraged to spend into deep debt, as many were credit card commercials…

Some spring has gone boing in people's brains this year. 

The first sign of this was the sheer number of letters to the editor this year from people just plain offended by the obstentatiousness of Christmas decorations. They were tired of having their faced rubbed into it.

Another sign was the quiet groans from friends about how tired they are of lugging the kids around to various relatives' houses.

The third and most telling sign was how many people were plain opting out. No tree, no presents. No acknowledgment that this day was different than any other.

In fact, I met more people that made a bigger deal about the Solstice than they made about Christmas. This being the first lunar eclipse and Solstice since 1638. That WAS more remarkable.

I can't blame people. For 140 years since that damn book A Christmas Carol came out have we been chided, scolded and cajoled into making such a big deal out of this day that it finally became an uncontrollable, overblown, overwrought, anxiety-ridden mess.

You see, my daughter Alex taught me that making a big deal out of today was…kinda dumb. 

She's autistic. She never got Santa Claus. She just didn't get this magical non-entity. Halloween is her favourite day because she gets that.
Halloween…costume…candy…ohboy!! When the month of October comes around, she says October, Halloween and counts down the days.

Christmas, never registered. Too nebulous. Just like she has no concept of God. Autistic people are literalists. If it's not right there in front of them, tangible, nope, not going to get it.

A present comes in the house, she rips it open right away. She doesn't understand the need to wait. 

"If it's right here, why should I wait to open it?"

So, it taught me that making a big deal out of this day is a futile exercise. It also taught me to strip it all down to it's bare essentials and go backward in time to what our pre-Christian ancestors were thinking when they designated this day a holiday, or a day of note.

It all comes back to family. There they were, those pre-Christian ancestors were, huddled together in their mushroom shaped huts, celebrating each other and hoping to make it through another tough winter. They probably got some hootch and dried fruit and freshly hunted meat and got silly drunk. Why not? What else was there to do?

So that's why the Christians picked that day to celebrate the birth of their saviour. Because we really don't know for sure when it happened.

So alot of other people are stripping the commercialism out of the day and just getting some good food and drink and getting silly drunk.

So raise one for all!

Wassail!
Comments 
25th-Dec-2010 08:54 pm (UTC)
totally THIS!

we have stripped it down by necessity ourselves. instead of requiring the kids to spend money none of us ever have on each other we do the secret santa thing. best idea we ever had. and adults play secret santa for one child out of all the mess of children even slightly related to us. of course parents buy for their own.
but it's all about family and food.
2nd-Jan-2011 07:23 pm (UTC)
Absolutely
(Deleted comment)
2nd-Jan-2011 07:24 pm (UTC)
You too!!!!
25th-Dec-2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
But you have to remember the Reason for the Season! (The tilt of Earth's axis with respect to the plain of the ecliptic). The light will come back and until then have a party.
2nd-Jan-2011 07:24 pm (UTC)
Party like it's the year 2012!!!
26th-Dec-2010 08:28 pm (UTC)
Nicely said. I didn't give gifts for the second year running, due to finances, but when I did give gifts, I didn't like the forced-ness of it. This year, I gave food to the food bank, which I try to do several times a year and wrote a poem. ;-)

Salut!
2nd-Jan-2011 07:25 pm (UTC)
You go!! I did that too, giving food to the food bank! Salut to you and yours!
28th-Dec-2010 08:49 pm (UTC)
I like to put up decorations and a tree and stuff: I'm like my Mum in that I like shiny things. I don't spend much on presents: I bake a load of German biscuits and stuff and dish them out to friends and family.

I couldn't believe that our local supermarket had already taken down its Christmas decorations today: it just goes to show it's purely commercial for them.
2nd-Jan-2011 07:26 pm (UTC)
It is here too. Can you believe the Valentine's Day decorations are going up already?
4th-Jan-2011 08:37 am (UTC)
I saw my first Valentine's Day banner yesterday, yes! I would also mention the hot cross buns, but we seem to have them all year round here, not just at Easter!
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