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Friday, December 7, 2012

THE NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD CHRISTMAS


In much of America, Christmas shambles along like some zombie, driven forward ever onward but with no life in its eyes.

What did Scrooge say towards the end of THE CHRISTMAS CAROL?

"I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future!" Scrooge repeated, as he scrambled out of bed. "The Spirts of all Three shall strive within me."

But is that we and the others around us seem to be saying with our scurryings?

We yearn for tomorrow and the promise that it represents.

But yesterday was once tomorrow, and where are the ghosts of yesterday's promises?

Or we yearn for yesterday, for what was or what might have been or what we choose to remember of it.

But as we are yearning, the present is becoming the past, and the present slips through our fingers unlived.  We become hungry ghosts.

Our eyes see more than our minds can comprehend, and we go through life self-blinded to so much that lies before us.

We yearn for the simple world of childhood, but we live in the complex arena of adulthood,

and rather than open ourselves to it, we perceive the world through filters that make it less frightening. 

Is that what Christmas has become: a comfortable filter of illusion?

For many I fear the answer to that question would be 'yes.'

“The sky is deep, the sky is dark.
The light of the stars is so damn stark
When I look up, I fill with fear,
if all we have is what lies here,
this lonely world, this troubled place,
then cold dead stars and empty space...

I see no reason to persevere,
no reason to laugh or shed a tear,
no reason to sleep and none to wake.
No promises to keep and none to make.

So at night I still raise my eyes
to study the mysterious skies
that arch above us, cold as stone.
Are you there God? Are we alone?” 

- THE BOOK OF COUNTED SORROWS (Dean Koontz)

The answer to Dean's question is Christmas.

For those who despair that their lives are without meaning and without purpose, for those who dwell in a loneliness so terrible that it has withered their hearts,

for those who hate because they have no awareness of the destiny they share with all humanity,

for those who would squander their lives in self-pity and in self-destruction because they have lost the saving wisdom with which they were born,

for all these and many more, hope waits in the dreams of childhood, where the sacred nature of life was lived without the toxic filters of greed, envy and endless fear.

And there is where you go in the Spirit of Christmas:

 In dream woods and fields, along misty shores of dream seas, with reawakened awareness of the joy abiding in all newborn things,

You look up into the magic night of the Nativity with its Star shining bright and what thus far you only dared to hope is true:

that although you have often felt no one loved you, there is One who always has. 

11 comments:

  1. Amen! We are all the much-loved children of God.

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  2. Alex:
    We just too often forget it in the rush of seasons. Christmas allows us to pause, reflect, and rejoice.

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  3. Our family has tried to recapture what Christmas used to be by not giving presents to each other. Instead, we share time together, give something to people in need, and--most of all--stay away from the malls.

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  4. I've started doing something with my daughter, as she gets older. I ask her what would Christmas be if there was no Santa. She always answers there'd be no presents. But then I ask her if there would still be Christmas, and she says Yes, because of what we celebrate...just without presents if there's no Santa.

    LOL! Santa still lives in her imagination and the spirit of Christmas rests in her heart. I pray it ever is that way, even after the illusion of Santa fades.

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  5. I'm getting very tired of commercialism in the holidays. It's rampant.

    What bothers me most this time of year are the people 'left out in the cold'. The kids with dysfunctional parents who ignore them and the season for their own wants, the homeless, and the poor.

    They may see the true meaning of Christmas when they're given a gift collected by an agency for the little children who don't understand, and a meal for those who otherwise get nothing.

    Usually by the time Christmas is over, I'm glad. It's a sad time for many.

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  6. I'm an atheist, but I appreciate the sentiment of Christmas and why it's important to love other people. I hope yours is very merry!

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  7. Christmas is a time of joy and rejoicing in God's gift.

    And I love Enya.

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  8. I cannot get into the Christmas spirit any more. Too much commercialism, and anyway I don't need a specific month to show my love to the people in my life, or act with kindness and compassion.

    This is a beautiful post; and I loved the Enya song.

    .........dhole

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  9. Donna:
    How strange is this world and how fiercely we hold onto that which cannot last: the blush of new love, the innocence of childhood, the thrill of the first days on our own.

    I think you are wise to hold onto the spirit of Christmas all year long. Let the stores rake in the profits. Gifts of the heart can be given all year long, right?

    Thanks for the kind words about this post.

    L. Diane:
    The New Year is also a time of reflection, too. And I love Enya along with you and Donna.

    cleemckenzie:
    Family Christmas's that dwell on love and shared laughter are the best.

    Angela:
    Santa is a spirit, and like all spirits has a long shelf-life! :-)

    D.G.:
    My mother and I used to envy large family Christmas get-togethers until we attended one. A grandmother in a wheel chair was shuttled into a corner while the rest of the family had fun. Mother and I spent the evening with the grandmother making her laugh and feel wanted ... if only by strangers.

    Christmas sees a rise in suicides for a reason. May your Christmas be a happy, healing one.

    Michael:
    My best friend, Sandra, is an atheist and her Christmas is made special by taking care of some of the ignored ones that D.G. talked about. And I hope your holiday season is very merry, too. :-)

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  10. I love how you always use literary voices to illustrate your ideas. This is another wonderful post. I'm one who kind of hates the holidays for the stress, not just in commercialism, but my job gets hectic this time of year with all the vacations and people trying to figure out last minute services, etc. Many people experience huge financial strains this time of year with the cold causing spikes in bills and they buy presents they can't afford, etc. That is why this is such a good reminder to just "be here now" enjoy the love pouring in, and send some out yourself. Make a memory that will last longer than the made in China crap in all the gaily-wrapped packages.

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  11. Shell Flower:
    Thanks. Using the voices of Charles Dickens and Dean Koontz, it was hard for me to go wrong.

    I try to keep my Christmas giving to the minimum by giving Christmas presents all year round.

    My job as rare blood courier also spikes during the holidays.

    I'm glad you got something meaningful and good out of my post. Merry Christmas, Roland

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