December 23, 2004

Little Mr. Mahatma

. . . takes a break from raising my blood pressure to make a good point. He's talking to a friend—I think I know who, but it probably doesn't matter:

We're both deeply into Religion and Spirituality but from different directions. In our last talk we both griped about how we're sick of the faux Holiday Spirit and the wretched music. He talked about how the true meaning of Christmas gets overlooked. No, not about the birth of Jesus which has tremendous controversy, least of which is "When..." and most of which has to do with an illegitimate birth. In any case, he mentioned the true meaning of Christmas has to do with light, that this time of year Christmas represents a temporary light from the long Winter's darkness.

Which is all well and good, I said, and fits in well with Hanukkah AKA The Festival of Lights. Hanukkah is about the miracle of oil lasting for eight days instead of one day, giving those extra days of light and thus extra comfort from the darkness.

And we both nodded our heads after seeing the light.

As human beings we don't care for the dark. It hides the boogeyman and other creatures. It allows our imagination to run a bit wild over every unexpected noise. Simply, darkness hides those that could, and long ago did, prey on us. With that, winter can be difficult as the nights are very long. We want something to break the boredom and shadows. We want something to remind us that spring will happen very soon. We want light. We want a festival. And so before Hanukkah we had something, a wintertime celebration. And we have Hanukkah, and Christmas, and more celebrations.

And so I say "Happy Holidays!" to all people, religious or otherwise, in the spirit of humanity.

Beyond these concerns, light (just in its physical manifestation, leaving metaphor aside) re-sets our daily clocks, allowing us to sleep better. Short, dim days wreak havoc on those who have sleep disorders. And the lack of full-spectrum light causes depression for many (Seasonal Affective Disorder, and all that).

Not to mention that our forbears had to negotiate some dark, dark streets at night, and—once snug in their beds—sometimes had to go outside into the dark if they wanted to pee in the middle of the night.

Reading at night was difficult to do, and expensive.

We have all kinds of reason to crave light.

Let the Sunshine in.

LMM is actually advertising here, so you'll probably go have to check his blog out. I assure you that it has redeeming social importance.

Posted by Attila at December 23, 2004 02:29 AM

Very illuminating.

But my Mother-in-Law has an even more intrinsic view of Christmas:

It's the time of year when and if you can get your lights strung on the house first, you and only you are the Keeper of Christmas and no one can take that away.

It's that special time to spread guilt and resentment by throwing a big party in the neighborhood, serving shots and after-dinner drinks until the husbands stumble home well after their wives have already given up on them. It adds stress to others' Christmas while giving the party-thrower that warm feeling of superiority.

A time to submit an itemized list of gifts, keeping in mind that these are not suggestions but well researched wants and needs, and any creativity will be met with severe ridicule upon the unwrapping of said creative gift. Or "instacule" as I like to call it.

And finally, it's a time of giving. Giving just one more gift to instill in future generations the importance of buying more presents than anyone else. All wrapped in a bow that looks like an angel's fart and sings, "I care more than you."

This was fun and healthy, I think. Thanks.

Posted by: Big Al at December 23, 2004 03:20 AM

Ah, the spirit of the season. You, my friend, truly care.


Posted by: Attila Girl at December 23, 2004 01:13 PM

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