Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Christmas mutterings

I've held off on this until now, not wanting to appear curmudgeonly, but now it's all over I feel that I'm free to vent with a stream of consciousness style post.

It's being quite a few years since I felt Christmassy in the way we are all expected to be... either in the traditional festive 'christian' manner or in the modern display of excess that is now the norm. Probably the fact that I dont have children, a young family or a live in partner means that I don't get that feeling that others plainly do.

I can't abide the holier than thou platitudes of the theolgians who keep on insisting that the true meaning of Christmas is being lost, neither do I hold with the gluttoness and material excess of the secular holiday.

I suppose I lie, as usual, somewhere in the middle, enjoying the spiritual aspects of the season, without feeling the need to celebrate a dead Jews birthday [which is several months out] and also enjoying the idea that the mid-winter solstice involves a bit bit of gratuitous consumption.

The whole hijacking by the Christian religion of the winter solstice a pagan festival steeped in the history of humankind, from the shores of the Mediteranean and the middle east up into the northern and western reaches of Europe, quite frankly annoys me. The only thing that has helped it survive is the obstinacy and suspicion of us ordinary folk who hedged our bets by keeping many of it's traditions alive 'just in case'. Thus holly, ivy and mistletoe are all part of the festival, as are robins, yule logs, carols - 'in the bleak mid-winter' - stands out, and yes the consumption of too much rich food and drink together with partying with family and friends...

It's ironic really is'nt it, that the conspicuous consumpion that the Church [both high and low] rails against is actually the true meaning and message of Christmas, rather than the false premise they would actually have us believe in.

Happy New Year [or is that sometime later in January?]