I don’t really want to be a Christmas Scrooge. If you remember Dickens’s tale, in the end Scrooge’s attitude did a 180 and he became Mr. Christmas. That’s not going to happen to me, I’m no Scrooge. Every year when A Christmas Carol is performed, I root for Scrooge to stick to his guns. He always gives in.
Now I don’t have a problem with the whole Christian thing. If you want to celebrate a Christian holiday at the same time as the old Pagan holidays, that’s fine by me. The dark days of winter are a good time for a holiday. Since Jesus’s birthday isn’t in the Bible, and if you want to celebrate it, December 25 is a good as any other day.
Getting together, lighting some lights, and having a party seems like a pretty good idea. It is if you keep it simple. Don’t get all caught up in the gift thing. If you want a big gift, aren’t you guilty of the sin of greed? What about the person who shows how wealthy they are by giving elaborate gifts? Could they be guilty of the sin of pride?
Of course, by giving nice gifts, maybe someone is only showing the virtue of generosity. Intent is everything.
All I know is that the best best Christmas I ever had is when were desperately poor. The idea of giving expensive gifts was right out. We barely had any money for token gifts. Not only did we have no money, we had no credit left. That year we invited all our friends and relatives to come to a Christmas Eve party at our house. Everyone was encouraged to bring a dish to share. A lot of people showed up and we had a wonderful party. Not only that, we ate for a week on all the leftover food. It was such a good party that people talk about it to this day.
This year it appears that everyone is going to be reasonable about gifts. There’s no need to turn the holiday into a celebration of the destruction of resources and the piling on of debt. For me, something like a used book, gloves, or a hat is more than enough. Having the time to share a cup of coffee or a glass of wine is an even better gift.
Christmas is great when a person is about 5 years old. Everything is new and exciting and it doesn’t take a whole lot of money to give a 5 year old something they’ll love. Watching the little kids open gifts can be fun.
When I was a teenager I made a big mistake. I worked a whole season at a place called Santa’s Village. This amusement park had Christmas music playing on the loud speakers all day long. There’s only about 4 good Christmas songs in the world. That summer I heard my lifetime supply of Christmas music. About the only “Christmas” music I like now is in the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. Vince Guaraldi’s jazz music is like a breath of fresh air.
My favorite uncle died just before Christmas one year. That was a bad one for me. Nothing like a cold and snowy graveside service to put a damper on the holiday spirit. I think of him every year about this time. As luck would have it, I just had another uncle pass away. He was a really nice man and everyone loved him. The blow is lessened by the fact he had a long good life, but he’ll be missed.
Celebrate Christmas, if you must. Remember, good human fellowship is the best gift. Perhaps take a moment to contemplate the spiritual. If you live long enough and do enough, you learn there are some really profound mysteries out there. Where logic and reason can do no more, all that’s left is faith.
You could join me in rooting for Scrooge to stick to his principals. It did take a bunch ghosts to wear him down. Still, awoken by ghosts in the middle of night, no wonder the poor guy snapped.
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