Saturday, November 10, 2007

i'm not ready for all this

it started right after Halloween.
the 'lite rock' station was on in the office *shudder*. . that's a whole other blog topic.
i'm not a fan of any radio station - whose play lists daily expose me to gems like: "Shake Your Booty", "Rhythm of My Heart" and "Live Like You Were Dying". . geez, i can't bear the cheese.
After every couple of insipid songs, they began airing these 'holiday' commercials.
I felt so unprepared to hear these things.
Rapid-fire voiceovers superimposed on jingle bellish, string-heavy muzak tracks
I thought i might hurl.
I mentioned to this to one of my co workers, who seemed unfazed.
Maybe she was better able to tune it all out?
The more hours went by listening to all that crap,
the more angry i became.
Angry with the propagandish pressure on us to buy things.
Angry with society's interpretation of 'holiday'
Angry with the misdirection of it all.

I can't even pick up the newspapers lately. . they weigh half a ton - full of
gift-buying guides
wish books
countdown to savings
Christmas countdown
holiday baking editions
holiday magic
festive recipes
holiday home improvement guide

I don't really like being guided in this way.
I don't think its the right way.
I feel under so much pressure.
Pressure to choose and shop and spend and clean and bake and organize and cook and wrap and decorate and look great at all the soirees -- then there's the small matter of working full time and cramming all that extra stuff in there somewhere.
Is it just women who feel like this?

I've pretty much stopped with the Christmas cards.
They were just one more thing - sending cards to people i see all the time. .
I'm trying to keep myself together mentally
and spiritually.
Not easy at holiday time,
which i find pretty ironic

Holiday: O.E. halingdoeg -- 'holy day'
holy: of God, his works, dwelling place, attributes, etc.
living a life of spiritual purity, dedicated, set apart for sacred use O.E. halig

I don't want to seem grinchy
I love Christmas trees
I love candles
I love music
I love the traditional meal, cookies, mincemeat, egg nog
I even love fruitcake (which is a brave confession, i know)
I love feasting with people i love
I love giving to help others
I love to celebrate
I love the way people 'feel the Christmas spirit' -- beautiful
I love the love story of Christ - the Messiah, the Redeemer
I need redemption, i need love

I guess i just worry that we've lost our collective way
I worry that we've lost the essence of holy days
I worry that we buckle under the intense pressure of the 'holiday culture' -- 'Ho, ho, ho!', Frosty and Rudolph and "Buy yourself a merry little Christmas". .
keeping it lite and avoiding the light
drinking, feasting, jockeying for parking spots at the mall
drowning in a sea of desperately-seeking shoppers
feeling tinsel covered yet empty
donating a little something to assuage our feelings of guilt with this overboard overabundance
eating shortbread while wondering if we're still sane
wondering if this is how it will always feel
wondering how to feel

All the streets are filled with laughter and light and the music of the season
and the merchant's windows are all bright with the faces of the children
and the families hurrying to their homes as the sky darkens and freezes
they'll be gathering around their hearths and tales, giving thanks for all God's graces
and the birth of the rebel Jesus

Well they call him by the Prince of Peace and they call him by the Saviour
and they pray to him upon the seas and in every bold endeavour
as they fill his churches with their pride and gold and their faith in him increases
but they've turned the nature that i worship in from a temple to a robber's den,

in the words of the rebel Jesus

well we guard our world with locks and guns and we guard our fine possessions
and once a year when Christmas comes, we give to our relations
and perhaps we give a little to the poor if the generosity should seize us
but if any one of us should interefere in the business of why they're poor
they get the same as the rebel Jesus

So please forgive me if i seem to take the tone of judgement
for i've no wish to come between this day and your enjoyment
in this life of hardship and of earthly toil we have need for anything that frees us
so i bid you pleasure and i bid your cheer from a heathen and a pagan
on the side of the rebel Jesus

Jackson Browne


Tee said...

Thank you for explaining my mixed holiday feelings for me! I've been feeling ALL of that! What a mess, huh?

kathryn said...

yeah, my friend. . what a mess.

Amy said...


I like that song. Bebe Norman recorded it on his new Christmas album.

kathryn said...

i haven't heard of Bebe Norman. What kind of music does he do? Its cool that he recorded such a great song!!!