Winter greetings, friends! In this time of Covid isolation and observing attitudes around the country, I have seen too much ugliness to pretend that the Christmas season will ring in peace, people will care about their fellow man and all is well because, after all, it is Christmas time. I’m just not feeling it. The tree above is last year’s tree. My husband and I are retired, and I do recognize that for families with young children, the season must go on. If I had small children right now, I would strive to instill in them the idea of gifting service to those with less, making handcrafted gifts for others, and exploring tools that add to their creative skills, rather than what the commercials tell them they should want.
I have always loved the Christmas season, personally. I love to make handmade gifts for people, bake Christmas treats and share the bounty and goodwill of the season. In fact, I have sometimes been a study of excess myself this time of the year. But I’m not seeing the “goodwill to men” this year. I’m seeing a split down the middle of our country drawn by selfishness and greed. Christmas is not going to make that better.
Christmas television commercials and store ads are accompanied by the usual frenzy of hyped-up holiday music, and a friendly, reasonable voice urging, “Ask Santa for this, ask your parents for that, don’t you deserve to have this?” There is no accommodation or recognition, not even as a side note, for the very deep loss, grief and illness that envelops our country. Even THIS year, of all years! Even during Covid, when SO many do not have enough to eat, are worried about losing their homes, being evicted, or have lost a loved one, the hype goes on, the same as usual.
I should add, I am not personally offended by any of it. I have not lost a loved one to Covid, I am not depressed, we have plenty to eat. In fact, we have a surplus of anything we want or need. But I am deeply and humanly offended, not only by the long arm capitalist reach of this country, but by the attitudes of some I know that call themselves Christians. I am not willing to live my life in the business as usual mode, in the midst of all the people and families that are suffering. I am not willing to pretend for two days or two weeks that life is normal right now. It most definitely is not.
Instead of decking the halls as usual, spending $70+ dollars for a fresh Balsam Fir Christmas tree, and several hundred more on sparkly gifts we don’t really need under the Christmas tree, we are jumping off the Christmas merry-go-round. We will still give a few (hopefully) thoughtful gifts to people we are close to, because we enjoy doing that. I will still make some special cookies and candies I usually make this time of the year. I don’t hate Christmas. I just don’t like how narcissistically commercialized it has become. I don’t like how it has taken on a life of its own depite the suffering throughout the world.
We have decided to donate the amount we usually spend on a tree and gifts to a local food bank, which we hope might help a few people feel happier during these cold months. That is a truly joyful thought to us. I wish you a lovely holiday however you choose to observe it. Here’s to some snow days! Marci