Saturday, December 8, 2012

Every Time You Use Your Discover Rewards Card --- an Angel Gets Its Wings

Now, I may have gotten a couple of important holiday proverbs incorrectly mashed together. But I have a good excuse – I’m a confused guy these chilly December days.  First of all, I thought the national election was held back on November 6th. But every time I turn on the news channel or surf the web I see folks on the campaign trail. Making speeches, shaking hands, kissing babies, asking for donations – asking babies for donations. It seems similar to the likes of the sorry Japanese soldiers stranded on isolated South Pacific islands at the end of WWII who, long after VJ day, are carrying on their assumed duties, manning the battlements, searching the horizon for the enemy planes to shoot out of the sky. After 4 years of war they know nothing of peace, only the call to duty. The post-war years go by and the world moves on, as it must. But not so for His Emperor’s finest. 

I also get confused in December by the run up to Christmas. Why did our Christian faith leaders ever think it was a good idea to co-op Winter Solstice for such an important church celebration day?  There’s not much going on in late January – they should have carved out that block of time instead. I’m afraid they well underestimated the power of the wallet (or back then, the “purse”) to captivate human attention and year-after-year to gain new ground in the quest to swamp all else. Camping outside days on end to buy the latest toy or electronic game. Really?

And I’m confused that Christians, having largely lost the battle for Christmas songs and pageants in schools and nativity displays on town greens, find themselves grasping for any symbolic straws we can hold on to against the onslaught of Grinches. The Christmas Tree and Santa Clause as protected religious icons?  Backed into a secular culture corner, is that really all we’re left to defend?

But mostly I’m confused by Christmas lights and the suburban elves who drape their houses and evergreen shrubs each year with holiday cheer. I see a trend toward shortcuts and taking the easy way out. Fewer hand-strung lights with their characteristic unevenness (aka individuality) to be replaced with those pre-formed light nets that can be practically tossed out the second floor bedroom window down onto the waiting yews below. Once plugged in they radiate mathematically perfectly-spaced little nodes of light into the suburban darkness. Awful.

December is not supposed to be about perfection, and certainly not about rampant spending of funds that most of us don’t have, or of wars-that-won’t-end. It’s supposed to be Advent, the preparations for the one who is perfect to come down to Earth for those of us who are far from perfect.


james said...

Wrt coopting solstice, I heard that the reason for latching onto the day was that there was a belief that prophets died on the anniversary of the day they were conceived. It sounds weird enough to be the reason.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

A post two years ago about the date.

As for your objections, have some eggnog or something.

Sponge-headed ScienceMan said...

AVI - Will eggnog cure the "I got the campaign culture blues" part as well?

Michael said...

SHSM - that will take more than one eggnog.