The meaning of the happy holidays


Why didn’t I say Christmas? Because it is a word made up to make it sound like it was named after somebody named Christ. I have been told that I should not say happy holidays since that means holy days. Sorry, not all of the November and December holidays are Holy Days. Thanksgiving, for instance.

Oh well, a little rant. How people celebrate these days are their own business, but please, don’t bring your beliefs into my life.

We had a decorated door contest here at where I live. The judging was today. I do not know how it turned out because the winner will be announced tomorrow during our holiday party. I want you to know that I write this not out of resentment, but just as a statement. I decorated my door with blue snowflake paper, but in some batting at the bottom (in layers) to look like a snow-covered hillside, glued some little green snow-covered trees with red stars, and glued on two skiing snowmen, as well as a regular snowman.

Then I hung a silver wreath at the top of the door with five red bows attached, plus three tree decoration dolls, dressed up in winter duds. My reasoning behind my door was to show the way Christmas should be displayed – the joy, the wonder, the fun – all for the children. I haven’t seen all the doors in the complex, so I have no clue who will win. Nor do I necessarily expect to because I don’t know who the judges were, and they may have been religious.

There are two things I do resent about the way people choose to look at Christmas. One is that they believe “Jesus is the reason for the season”. Actually, that is only because the catholic church needed something to use to bring people into their religious beliefs. I say what right do they have to steal the original meanings of the holiday, which is the Solstice, and the welcoming of the light (sun) back into the sky (the sun begins its journey back to the southern hemisphere on the 20th, and the celebration originated in the known world of the time, which was the northern hemisphere). With all of the money and influence the catholic church has/had, why are they not smart enough to figure out something original to base their holiday on? Well, obviously, they wanted to demonize, and then own, the whole idea of the celebration. Well, they took it away from the 20th, and changed it to the 25th, but everyone should know that the Jesus the New Testament calls the Christ (he was really a Jewish Rabbi) was born when the shepherds and sheep were in the fields, which does not happen when it is cold and snowing. Oh, you didn’t know it snowed in Palestine?

The other reason, and one much more important to me personally, is the commercialization of the holidays. Today I watched a movie on Lifetime which was about a huge store (you can see it from space) decided to have a light contest because they got an overshipment of tree lights. The prize was to be some free shopping, which went from one hour to three hours. Of course, all the people went crazy, and bought and built huge displays, including a Jewish couple who put up giant Menorahs and Stars of David. All on the path of outdoing one another to win the prize. Our “hero” and his girlfriends, who just happened to be the daughter of the man who owned the giant store, went right along with it. Until the hero’s father, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s, got angry – partly because it was his house, and partly because as he told his son, he wanted at least one more memory of a Christmas before they all went away. I ran into an oxymoron with this ending, as his house was eventually decorated with a manger scene. But it was still a better ending because when everyone lit their lights, a transformer blew up, and the manger scene was lighted with candles. Leaving the house with the only decoration that was lit. Of course, our hero’s father’s house won, and the son donated the winnings to charity.

The moral of the story was, of course, that all that consumerism lost out, and the supposedly true meaning of Christmas was shown as the winner.

Well, to me the real meaning of Christmas is the children. I remember it from my own childhood, before someone told me there was no Santa (my mother and step-father, who left a lot to be desired as parents anyway), but waking up on Christmas morning and seeing what Santa left beneath the tree. It was a magical time which I think way too many people, including children, have forgotten. Now it is about how much loot, how much it all cost, how much comparison was made to each and everybody else, and how it was all forgotten the next day.

No wonder we as a country are in the shape we are in. Consumerism, capitalism, trying to outdo the family next door (and how many families actually live next door that you are familiar with anyway?).

C’mon, people, most of you need to get your priorities straight. Remember when peace and goodwill toward all men meant something (and perhaps we should even change that to all people instead of all men). I fear love is a word that will soon disappear from the common language.

I am enjoying my holiday season. I, with my small income, have still managed to give tokens, pretty much under $5, along with crocheting 30 neck scarves, to everyone of meaning to me, and put out nearly 50 holiday cards on my neighbors doors. Even my door cost me less than $20 to decorate, and it would have been less than $10 if I hadn’t gone ahead and bought a hanger for my wreath. I wish everyone were as happy and full of joy as I am.

Carol Stepp
Austin, TX

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About carolstepp

Music is about the most important thing in my life, and I follow a large number of musicians, particularly Irish, Scots, Classical, Crossovers of any of these. I was writing a blog about Celtic Thunder regularly on MySpace, and now I have left them after a year, and will start writing my blogs here. I am 70, retired, living on Social Security, and have a lot of social network fans.
This entry was posted in Economics, Friends, Mental health, Music, personal thoughts, Religious. Bookmark the permalink.

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