Daily Archives: 5 December, 2011

A Serious Thought About The holiday Season


Today’s Music: Cheap Trick – The Flame

*APOLOGIES if this is heavy handed. It isn’t meant to be. It’s more me trying to work out certain thoughts on the holiday season, framed against someone else’s thoughts on the same. So…

Briefly on a serious note…
I’ve been toying with this post for a few days. It’s a little more serious than I usually go, but what the hell, it’s my soapbox.
If you’re looking for the lighthearted, check out the poll for this week.

This is a story about a post on another blog that moved me to the point where I actually did something. And I checked with the blogger that posting this entry was ok.

So the day after Black Friday (Mahogany Saturday?), I was trying to figure out what pepper spray had to do with giving. Even if it was in self-defense, the fact that it was needed – on the start of the Christmas season – was still a bit much, and turned me off more than usual from the season.

Christmas is not a holiday of my faith. And I am barely of my faith. But even for me, I think the definition of Christmas as a “Need To Consume” seems wrong.

So I’ve blown off the holiday season, and am looking forward to the dog days of February, when the wind will scour the streets, no one will be out (except us hardy commuters) and there really will be peace outside. Or, ironically, on Christmas eve. Most of NYC will be shut down. Hopefully it will be cold but not windy. And that’s a perfect time to stroll around Manhattan. The locals are in. The tourists are in. No one is out. And I really enjoy those moments of peace.

So, Sunday, after being barraged with stories of pepper-spray lady, and a constant stream of how wonderful Christmas is for everyone’s bottom line, and maybe they should start earlier next year to cash in even more, I was on the street, waiting for my wife. So I read the email on my phone.

There was a post from The Flame Inside, where she describes the evolution of the meaning of Christmas for her.

It’s not an easy story, but it has an uplifting ending.
She charts her Christmases from being a small child living with her mother, to an older child living with her father, to Christmas for her as an adult.

There is sadness in there. There is pain and disappointment, well beyond the “I didn’t have money to get a gift” or “I didn’t get what I want”.

At the end of the story, Flame is an adult. Who, each Christmas, finds the names of children in need on her grocery store’s Giving Tree.
She looks for notes from children that have it rough, as she did, and anonymously gives them a gift.
Asking for nothing in return.

Because the spirit of Christmas, for her, is giving to those that don’t have.

I finished the reading the post, walked into the Barnes and Noble I was standing in front of, and bought 3 books for their donation project for disadvantaged children
Because, even though it ain’t my holiday, her post moved me. And reminded me how lucky I am to have grown up and be living in the circumstances I’m in.

And that not everyone is.
And that anyone can do something to brighten someone else’s day.

I’m not trying to be preachy, and I certainly am not trying to tell anyone what to do.
I’m just saying that theflameinside put together a post that moved me beyond just feeling a need to comment.
That verbalized something I think is missing from the season that too often seems is just celebrated by lip service, but that (while nagging at me), I couldn’t quite pin down.
And I’m thankful to her for expression her feeling in a way that made sense to me, even though our backgrounds are nothing alike.

So, if you have a sec, check out the the post. Maybe it will move you. Maybe it will lead you to think about what the spirit of the season means to you, or what you’d like it to mean to you.
Maybe you’ll do something to make it what you want it to be…

Or not. Either way, y’all are always welcome here.

And that anyone can do something to brighten someone else’s day.

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