I’m writing this during the season to be jolly–with holly all around and all the world deeply intent on badgering us into turning into Scrooges of sorts with all the Christmas songs to feed the world sung for a billion times, sometimes over PA systems that grate. It’s also a day or two—I’m in a rather stupefied state of over-indulgence of all things calorific and soporific so all is slightly hazy–after the great Christmas meal to end all meals. Then I was also boxed into feasting on the day after Christmas. o technology except maybe the screens showing the readings or the live broadcast of the mass itself.
More than festive fun, our holly-filled days turn into a marathon of logs ingested, kisses eaten, mulled wine imbibed and dreams of fasting quickly descending on us. Oh please let’s detox ourselves and live a slimmer version of ourselves. And yet–yes, there is always an “and yet”–we do it year in year out. What would Christmas be without food and drink? It would be a scrooge-fest of boredom. At least in our family and household we do not have Mary–not the Mother of the Saviour–popping up on the silver screen for the 5000th re-run of the magical Mary Poppins. Or, like someone I know whose family, every sacred Christmas, watches - and infallibly laughs at - Home Alone 1.
The TV marathons and the board games are spared our wrath. So obviously our torpor does not hit us as badly as the TV addicts, hence we indulge even more.
Thoughts of Christmas–even if you are reading this in boring feastless January–cling on to us. If nothing else they cling to our paunch and thicker thighs. Trousers in January shrink around our girth to remind us of indulgent repasts.
Let me make something clear. I might sound terrible and seem to hate anything Christmassy–but I don’t. I love it all–the inane songs, the insane conviviality, even crackers and their silly hats give me a kick. I don them and remain in them till my head aches and till friends and family call me crackers more than is their wont.
But the main gist of this diatribe is spiritual. I don’t mean spiritual as in the wicked spirits like malt, rum and those derived from the vine. No, I want to discuss divinity. So be warned and, if heavy stuff is not for you, go back to your mince pies, snatch a few glasses of punch and stop reading this piece of inspired drivel.
Thoughts of Christmas just past make me sigh a bit and I dearly long for times when all of us did not pay homage to the silliness of political correctness. We did not go out of our way–as some do today–to avoid mentioning Christ. Whether we believe in him or not is immaterial. But what is Christmas without the birth of Christ? He needn’t be my, or your, saviour but he surely is central to the whole story of the nativity. Whether there were wise men is not important and what they gave him as presents or whether they chased a bright star or not is all a trifle irrelevant. But he–a Christ–was born. Whether or not, before the Christians decided to celebrate their religion’s founder’s birth on a certain day, it was other pagan religions’ festive day, is another irrelevance.
For a few thousand years the celebration–and gift-bearing–was tied, inexorably tied to someone’s birth and no amount of window-dressing will change that. It might have become a consumers’ bonanza and a capitalist feast where all sorts of stuff is sold, eaten, or stuffed in bags and Christmas stockings, but it all should revolve around a man called Christ.
We now have a Pope who heads the Catholics from all lands, some billion of them or more, who also talks of atheists and their creed and believes that we could–believers or not–unite in our quest for peace and love.
So after all, notwithstanding my sermon above, even popes might end up wishing everyone happy holidays and not happy Christmas so that all can enjoy each other’s embrace. All is possible in this world of ours. The spirit of love be with you all!
Victor Calleja has been involved in publishing, marketing, and anything concerning the written word, for over thirty years. He is now a part-time but very opinionated journalist who delves deeply into a number of subjects.