Friday, December 12, 2014

Getting into the Christmas spirit

No, I'm not ready for Christmas -- though we did get the lights up and the decoration boxes down from the garage, and I finished designing the annual family calendar.  But the shopping has barely begun, we don't have a tree, and we've been frankly too busy dealing with the weather to get in the Christmas mood.

... but that doesn't mean we're not aware: this season comes with a lot of expectations for stuff lots of people find either hokey or ridiculous -- I mean, face it, there's not an aspect of Christmas that hasn't been somehow overdone or commercialized.

But that doesn't mean there isn't some important truth lying underneath, some deeper awareness that things are supposed to be a little different this time of year.  Whether we fail or succeed, we get that we're supposed to be a little nicer, a little gentler, a little more generous, a little more forgiving when Christmas rolls around. 

And we get that that's hard, and that actually Christmas, the whole holiday thing, is hard, for an awful lot of people.  So many expectations and hopes, so many past disappointments, so many losses to be borne anew as the memories come rolling in...

So, yes.  It's not really about Santa -- whether you see him as a jolly generous old elf or the personification of consumerism.  But I'm posting him here anyway, because I like this version of him, like the twinkle in his eye, the sense of a shared joke just underneath the surface.  He gets, I think, that this Christmas mood thing we're trying to get into is all a game, but he wants it to be fun, and deep down I think he knows we're each a little better and more cheerful for trying to join into the spirit of things.

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