Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Remember Me?

Hi there, remember me?

Perhaps I should refresh your memory.

I'm a holiday. People used to celebrate me quietly, joined with family and community to rejoice in the returning light or the birth or their god (depending on which spiritual Truth they followed).

I was a good day, a peaceful day, a day for sharing a special meal with the ones you loved and pondering the many blessings you give each other.

Long ago, this was the day landlords and money-lenders forgave debts (if they were so inclined), giving the people beholden to them a month to breath a little.

There would sometimes be feasts to celebrate me.

Somehow, you changed me. I don't know why, or when, but I became less about the love, light, and life common to all humanity and became more about gifts, juggling families, and frantic consumerism. I am not so much about the single candle flickering in the window, sending out rays of hope into the night, and more about millions of lights, plastic figurines, and neighborhood one-upsmanship. If a neighborhood decorates, it puts pressure on every family to take part, whether they will or no. When did I become about bullying and feelings of superiority?

Why do I now engender feelings of deep sorrow in so many, when I should offer up a sense of joy? Why is there panic as I approach? Why so much angst, anger, so much negative emotion?

Do you know me now?

I would like to cast off these rich, costly robes and return to my simpler garb - I am not comfortable in this cloth of gold, encrusted with jewels and stiff with embroidery. Won't you help me? Will you stop for a moment each day and remind yourself that you don't have to buy or show love with gaudily wrapped gifts? Will you pause for a moment each day to breath in the sweet smell of fir trees, of clean air, of the delightful scent of baking or snow-tinged air? Will you take a moment to think, really think, about my origins (a celebration of the returning sun or the birth of your God's avatar here on Earth) and my symbols? Will you eschew one more purchase of cheap plastic crap, purchased out of guilt rather than because the recipient may really need it, and perhaps instead offer up a far more precious and costly gift - yourself, your time, your effort, your love?

If you don't know me now, then you never did...and for that, I am sorry. I was wonderful, once.


Writer Dad said...

Yes, yes you were, but that was long before the world felt so entitled.

Susan said...

My God, woman! I know I've said it before but I'm saying it again. You can WRITE! And I'm not just talking about this post - your comment on my blog was pure gold.

Tara@Sticky Fingers said...

Here here.
We try to keep you as simple as possible in this house and have our children take part in projects like Samaritan's Purse (putting together a shoebox for children who receive nothing at this time) so they can understand that it's not all about gifts and expense and more about family and love and - as you so rightly say - your time.

Kyddryn said...

WD, we can change that.

Susan, thanks. You DID ask...

Tara, that's awesome!