This might sound kind of common, or even trite, but maybe it is so because the truth in it is so obvious. I really do think that whatever religiosity might be left in the Christmas brand after having been crushed beneath more than a few billion dollars worth of advertising is entirely and utterly lost in all the major shopping centers on this day.
Personally I believe that you really ought to go in an entirely different direction. A walk in the mountains is where you will more likely find God. Or in your home with your family. Give the simplest of gifts, that is where you are the most likely to find the joyous complexity in the hearts of those you love. You should never be afraid to share with them your own joyous complexity as well.
I have this theory that God, being almighty, does find that there are places He would not care to go. And that if you are so unwise (or unlucky since we are infinitely fallible and can't possibly know everything about God's preferences) to be in such a place when the cold hand of death decides to take you, then you cannot go to Heaven. Instead you get stuck forever in whatever Godless place you may happen to be at that awful moment. A shopping mall on the 24th of December might very well be one of those. I thought that I ought to warn you.
You'd be much better off doing your last minute shopping here in Sierra Madre. Flawed though we all may be, I don't think the place has been forsaken quite yet. The doors of Heaven are still open above us. Though we will have to see if that holds.
I have been mulling over the dark heart of the message the so-called "civility crowd" has been attempting to beat into us into silence with these last few days, and while I have not been able to put my feelings about this oppressive and dishonest concept into words just yet, somebody I know and respect (a lot) has sent me the words of someone who has. The author's name is Kristin Rawls, and here is what she has to say:
Notwithstanding the fact that "love" is perhaps the vaguest, most unhelpful political prescription of all time, this kind of thinking removes any analysis of power from the conversation. It falsely presumes that we all enter the conversation on equal footing. Indeed, everyone is so busy preaching "unity" and "loving one another" that there is never any interrogation of privilege or power. It's a bit different out in mainstream society, but the message is clear. Love your oppressors ... (We) are accustomed to being silenced because we have a "mean tone." We're asked to speak more respectfully so that we can earn a hearing. We're taught to submit to our oppressors. We're being angry and irrational, and it's our job to make everyone comfortable."
Or, as Alice Roosevelt Longworth so famously put it, "If you haven't got anything nice to say about anyone, come sit next to me."
There was a rather unfortunate incident at the Frosty the Snowman unveiling last night in Kersting Court. Apparently Lady Elizabeth Wistar and some of her friends decided to stage something of an impromptu parade through the downtown area, complete with strange music and God knows what else. A film crew from Austria (of all places) was on hand to film our beloved Frosty event, and they captured the following footage. Which, wouldn't you know, has now gone viral on the web. Let me warn you, much of it is shocking, and you may wish to shield the eyes of the more sensitive. Click here.
I was scouring the Internet to find something inspirational to end this post with, and I couldn't find anything that quite rose to my expectations. But I did stumble across an interesting piece on Wikipedia about Christmas Eve. Which is a very matter of fact and almost anthropological essay on the Night Before Christmas. I think that the person who wrote it did so from the perspective of a social scientist rather than a believer. Something that is, of course, a belief system in itself. Here is the Wikipedia Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve refers to the evening or entire day preceding Christmas Day, a widely celebrated festival commemorating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth that takes place on December 25. It is a culturally significant celebration for most of the Western world and is widely observed as a full or partial holiday in anticipation of Christmas Day.
One reason celebrations occur on Christmas Eve is because the traditional Christian liturgical day starts at sunset, an inheritance from Jewish tradition, which in turn is based in the story of creation in Genesis: "And there was evening, and there was morning - the first day." This liturgical day is followed for all days in the Eastern rite and the custom of beginning Christmas celebration (as well as Sunday and the other major festivals) in the preceding evening is preserved in western Churches that have altered the liturgical day to start at midnight, for example the Roman Catholic Church. Many churches still ring their church bells and hold prayers in the evening before holidays; for example the Nordic Lutheran churches. In some languages, such as the Scandinavian, Christmas Eve is simply referred to as "Christmas Evening."
Since Christian tradition holds that Jesus was born at night (based in Luke 2:6-8), Midnight Mass is celebrated on Christmas Eve, traditionally at midnight, in commemoration of his birth. The idea of Jesus being born at night is reflected in the fact that Christmas Eve is referred to as "Heilige Nacht" ("Holy Night") in German. "Nochebuena" ("the Good Night") in Spanish and similarly in other expressions of Christmas spirituality, such as the song, "Silent Night, Holy Night."
Nominally religious people, or people who are not formal with definitions, may see the whole day as a day of celebration or as just the day before Christmas. Millions of people around the world with no Christian or religious affiliation or background also celebrate Christmas and Christmas Eve. The emphasis of celebration on Christmas Eve varies from country to country and region to region.
The Blogger's Union (Local 14) doesn't allow me to work on Christmas, so I will be taking tomorrow off. The Tattler will resume its normal publishing schedule on Monday, December 26. With something controversial, I'm sure. Isn't that why so many people come here?
Have a great Christmas!