December 21, 2009

Where has the Christmas spirit gone?

So here we are, three days away from Christmas.

I've had my Christmas lunch at work (in fact I've had two of them); I've been to two Christmas parties. I've done some shopping in malls all decked out for the season, and, although we generally keep our gift giving frugal and don't go in for all the hype, I have bought some presents and wrapped them.

Our outside lights are up and so is, as of yesterday, the tree.

I've baked,


and set the nativity scene my mother hand-drew and put together 4o years ago, up on the bookshelf as usual:


And, finally, today I sent out some cards that had been sitting around for a couple of weeks and I didn't have the drive to send until now:


They're not the ones I was working on, the strawberries in the snow, because the same thing that happened last year and the year before happened again. After all the work I put into carving the image and printing it, I didn't end up liking it when it was time to make it into cards. So, in a panic, I made up some new ones, from some stamps I'd carved a few years ago for other things. They turned out ok I guess.

Anyway, I've done some Christmassy things so far right? I should be feeling some sort of Christmas buzz right about now right? Yet I'm not. I'm doing all these things, going through the motions, and that's exactly what it is: going through the motions. Yesterday I even listened to CBC radio's Joy to the World broadcast for as much of the day as possible but not even that felt right.

And it seems I'm not the only one to feel this way; quite a few people I've talked to are experiencing the same lack of Christmas spirit. Is it the economy that's to blame? Or is it just that, as we try to make Christmas politically correct and try to strip it of any symbolism offensive to other cultures, we end up stripping away the very heart of it? Do we make it so generic that it becomes bland and meaningless? I have such a hard time with the whole "season's greetings" thing. What does that mean, really? Surely, there's got to be a way for us to acknowledge and respect the spirituality in other non-Christian cultures without having to obliterate the essence of the Christian one at this time of year? Too many questions, no good answers.

Nevermind, maybe it'll all fall into place at the last minute. So, on this night of winter solstice, I wish you all a merry, merry Christmas and I thank you, most sincerely, for dropping in from time to time to read my ramblings. Cheers...

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