While I am melting away here in the scorching heat of central Australia I thought I write another blog about something that goes through my head every Christmas time. I would love to hear thoughts about it.
Now that the 'Silly Season' is finally over life starts to become almost normal again. Friends are back from holiday and are contactable again, shops open up again, services are becoming available again and all the single people, who were not lucky enough to have someone to share this 'jolly' time with someone, can take a deep breath, because they have survived yet another Christmas.
Now comes the time for most to fix the big financial hole Christmas-Mania has ripped into the yearly budget ( perhaps by starting with selling unwanted presents on Ebay or the flea-markets) and to work out a diet to get rid of the extra pounds unhealthy over indulgence has added to our physique.
I did neither of all that, except I scoffed to much ice cream to keep myself cool from inside. My family decided many years ago not to join into the shopping madness and just have a lovely meal together, basta. It feels great to answer questions like: 'Have you finished your Christmas shopping," with:" We don't do Christmas.' Even so until recently, when I voluntarily moved far away from my kids, we still got together for the opulent meal with the usual trimmings, I was wondering why we actually celebrated Christmas when no one except me believed in Jesus Christ(us) (also called Christ). Yes, for many it might come as a total surprise that Christ-mas is actually the birthday celebration of Christ and has nothing to do with Santa, the reindeer's, the flying sled or the North Pole. As a matter of fact Jesus was born in Bethlehem which is situated in a very hot country now known as Israel.
Coming from a North European country which celebrated the birthday of Christ for 3 days. The 24th of December we celebrate the 'Holy Night' of Christ birth. We s talked through high snow and bell ringing to church, which usually had a big nativity set at the altar. That night was just for the closest family and the night we open our present under the tree. The 25th was the first Christmas day, when usually the whole extended family got together and the 25th was the second Christmas day when we met close friends to share the joy. Boxing Day, a day invented by the clever business community to leech the last cents out of our wallet or Visa card while we are still in spending mode, was thankfully unknown.
I used to love Christmas, I loved the preparation, the smell of spices in the house , the times when I sat together with my kids making Christmas decorations and little presents, the Christmas markets and the lovely decorations and the whole count down to the 24th of December.
I remember exactly when I decided to stop decorating my mantle piece with little ceramic Christmas figurines, it was when my son had them re-arranged in more than questionable positions, which where anything than holy. Instead I made it a habit to invite a lonely neighbor to join our Christmas dinner.
I asked myself why celebrating Christmas with people who don't believe in Christ and often make a mockery out of his birthday, why not just get together on any other day?
When I got older and had to spend many Christmases alone I realized that Christmas is not a celebration of love but of selfishness. That is the time when the most lonely, most poor and most vulnerable people are forgotten and ignored, a time when most suicides are committed, and most people loose their marbles temporarily. In my case it triggered another negative response: Aggression.
Every person who knows me knows that I am probably the least aggressive person in the world, but in the days leading towards another lonely Christmas I was close to punching peoples face in, if they throw another 'Happy Christmas' in my face, knowing very well that I would be alone and anything but happy. Sadly having such undesirable knowledge did not fit into the happy-season of Christmas when everyone was too busy to care.
I know I am rambling a little here and I hope you will forgive me.
The bottom line is, next Christmas holiday make it a celebration of love and care for your fellow men, if you can not make it a celebration of Jesus Christ's birthday, he who was and is pure love and care.
I can guarantee you that the feeling you get from helping a lonely friend or stranger exceeds any feeling you will get from shopping, receiving expensive presents and from over-indulgence. You will get the real feeling of Christmas. Perhaps you might want to make that your New Years resolution.
Lot's of love and a very happy, pain-free new year from Tess-Naturagirl