December 25, 2006

Happy Holidays

Whatever it is that you celebrate at or near this time of year, enjoy. I could be more specific about the likely holidays in question, but at the moment I'm not fussed about it.

Everything's closed, there's nothing to do, and nearly everyone has the day off. I'm just glad an old friend is in town. The holiday makes travel normative enough that I get to see people I might not otherwise get to. Yay.

If you're sensing waves of holiday ambivalence, give yourself a gold star on my behalf. My family didn't celebrate any holidays as I was growing up, so I have no particular attachment to them. They're almost devoid of intrinsic emotional content for me because the memories associated with celebrating them start at about 18. That's when I met the other branch of the family, the ones who look forward to today all year and are sad when it's over, a sentiment I can only regard as a curiosity. Some years I don't bother, just like I generally take a pass on doing anything for my birthday.

Anyway, I'm rambling, though I like to think it's germane to some point that will make your having read this worthwhile.

From someone who's at best an opportunistic celebrator of holidays, I hope you get a chance to take advantage of this civilizational breather day to say the things you forget to during the rest of the year to the people who mean a lot to you every day. It's always a revelation, even though the vehicle is imperfect, saturated in consumerism, nearly unmoored from the original meanings and sometimes awkward. That can even help make it sort of a macro-meditation experience, a time of pause to see a snapshot of ourselves and our world while business as usual is suspended.

Sometimes the things we see in a pause, we'd rather not. Even a recognition that your usual focus is off from where you'd like it to be can unsettle. But the first thing is to see. Then to acknowledge. Maybe more will follow.

I wish for you that you'll be able to see something during your winter holidays to bring you useful clarity and that you'll be able to say something that deepens your relationship with a fellow traveler whom you hold dear. It's always a good way to get ready for a prospect as potentially daunting as a whole other year. If you're aided and comforted in this by an arbitrary day off, well, it's not like there's anything wrong with that.

Posted by natasha at December 25, 2006 04:36 AM | Random Mumblings | Technorati links |

Interesting to hear of your journey from non-celebrant to something a little bit more involved.

I've taken the opposite path. A childhood of wonderful Christmas mornings have been stripped of the excess. We no longer give presents. But the traditions seem all the more wonderful:

A. Listening to an old scratchy LP of a reading of selections from Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers (and on the other side, A Christmas Carol). This on Dec. 22nd, the day of the aforementioned club's visit to Dingly Dell Farm.

B. And just a few minutes ago, like every year at this time, hearing the opening to Bach's Christmas Oratorio. Heady emotions.

May yours be a bright and joyous day.

Posted by: Jared Scarborough at December 25, 2006 06:20 AM