It is 6:29 AM on Monday, December 23rd. This is the best week of the year the days before and after Christmas are for the most part free of work, school and activities. It is the one time of year where I can relax just a little bit without the constant grind of schedule. At 42 years old however, there is always the background anxiety which I’m never free of but is quite normal due to the responsibilities this time of life brings.
My son is already up and on his iPad. He is determined to finish his Christmas animation using FlipaClip before the 25th. It is interesting how he can always wake up very early on days when he does not have school yet has the hardest time getting up on schooldays. I suppose I was the same way and I can even remember the song I woke up to on the first day of fourth grade. The song “Rock Steady” by the Whispers was for me the death knell of the summer of 1986 and I can still recall the terrible feelings of that early morning.
This post however is not to reminisce but to appreciate this moment when only two days remain before Christmas and the New Year, the grand finale of the holiday season which began three months ago. The Christmas lights are twinkling, the tree blinking a glorious array of color and my modest Dicken’s Village giving off a warm glow. The day after Christmas all of this decoration loses quite a bit of its allure but it isn’t completely gone until after New Years Day. Then on the 2nd of January we all enter into a collective depression as the magic of the festive months is completely gone and we are faced with our regular lives again.
Another year is officially in the history books and the only spec of excitement might be getting started on those New Year’s resolutions. Making a decision to improve your life is something very exciting which many begin with childlike enthusiasm. Yet, by the end of January most of those resolutions are as dead and over as the previous year.
As I wrote about the decorations I realized that I’ve completely missed The Dicken’s Fair this year! Yesterday was the last day and if I had remembered I’m sure we would have went. It is an uphill battle for me as the wife isn’t very enthusiastic about it and the complaints from the kids often outweigh any enjoyment. I seem to be the only one that feels a draw to Christmases past and the ideal version from Mr. Dickens.
In my history books I read about the northern climates and how the ancients would have thought the sun might be dying as the days got shorter and the weather colder. Then at the winter solstice the long march of death is suddenly reversed as the days get longer and the sun gets warmer. This is the true reason for celebration and it was co-opted by the Christians who replaced the original meaning with the birth of Jesus. Then this idea of death to life of the sun is replaced with Jesus and his resurrection at Easter. Yes, the world and our current traditions become very interesting when you know your history and a desire to seek out the truth.
But getting back to Christmas or Christ Mass, I have no problem with celebrating it all. Christianity is a major part of history and I appreciate it, whether I believe its stories or not is irrelevant.
One of my acquaintances posted on Facebook asking why you’d celebrate Christmas if you don’t believe in Christ. I told him to get rid of his Christmas tree as it has its origins in pagan religions. Lol.
At 42 years of age I find it amazing to feel like the only one who understands (and wants to see!) the truth about the things we celebrate. It is also amazing that a big majority are Christians but from their behavior should first be known as first worshiping commercialism, then maybe the ideals of Christianity should they not get int the way of all the purchasing of products.
I watch a Charlie Brown Christmas and Mr. Shultz’s message of the true meaning of Christmas being lost to commercialism is loud and clear. That was in 1965, can you imagine the horror Mr. Shultz would feel today, especially when stores put out the Christmas displays in September? Tragic.
Yes, commercialism, a President Trump, general hatred between the left and right in this country makes celebrating an exercise in mental gymnastics. There is no “goodwill towards men” in our current national environment is there, but our society is good at pretending at least for a little while.
So this Christmas season I’ll focus on the good, I’ll remember Christmases past and see the joy in my kid’s faces. Yesterday I organized and uploaded our Christmases from 2013 onward so we could watch them on the TV. I have a fascination with time and because of this document the special occasions with photographs and video. This serves me very well in that I easily have a window into the past. I’ve not only done this for my immediate family but also my extended family and even my grade school and high school classes. What I’ve learned by doing this is I seem to be one of the very few who enjoys looking back in the past and simply remembering. I learned that I think more deeply about time, history, the universe and my place in it than almost everyone. I think this is true as I’ve never had a conversation with anyone on this topic since 80% of the conversations you’ll have in this country would be about sports.
As for the future, at 42 years old I now have a handle on investing, on the new emerging technology and a steady path for improving my life as well as that of my family members. I feel secure and confident. We’ll see what 2020 throws our way and hopefully it isn’t anything too challenging.
Well, my son is now playing Fortnite and my concentration has been interrupted by the sound of automatic gunfire. I’m going to have to join in.