Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Fundamentals

Photo courtesy Flickr

Christmas was originally a festival to support the poor. The real luxury of my life is having time and attention to spare for this blog.

There’s a fine line between gift and glut. Thank-you notes are a vital sign.

An archetypal Christmas tree is brought living into the house and decorated with fruits and candles that are lit on Christmas Eve. The tree is returned alive to the garden. Electric lighting allows the family to return alive to whatever they were doing before the holiday but generates escalating glitz that challenges the essential peace of the occasion.

The Christmas season is another matter. The month before Christmas Eve is a miniature version of Lent, a period of fasting and counting the days. Christmas itself opens a carnival that lasts until Ash Wednesday as good a cure for seasonal affective disorder as I can imagine.


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