Monday, November 06, 2006

Christmas in November

Well, the Christmas decorations are up here in Bridgeport and the radio is already playing Christmas (Holiday?) songs. Actually, I saw Christmas items in a store back in September. I am making a great effort not to be a naif about this, but heavens! when will we as Christians find a way to say, "enough" to the commercialization of our Holy Day? I don't really know what one is supposed to do specifically; in the monastery, we have the advantage of being almost entirely isolated. We are bound to celebrate the liturgical days according to the Church's traditional calendar. So we don't even put up a tree until December 23.

Then again, we also don't give gifts. This makes it pretty easy on us, I admit, and I am certainly not condemning gift-giving. But are there things we can do to return to a more liturgical celebration of Christmas? A more spiritual celebration?

I grew up in a poor family, and we had a $5 limit per gift per person. That meant that we made most of our gifts for each other. How memorable they were! We still talk about them, and we still make things for each other.

Again, I understand that there is tremendous pressure to buy expensive things for loved ones, especially children who face scorn in school if they don't have the newest gadget (that agony wasn't all that long ago for me, though a fancy gadget in my day was...a CD player!--I held out for vinyl well into college). But where (and how) do we put our foot down? I am not asking this rhetorically: does anybody have any suggestions?


The Archer of the Forest said...

It seems to me, and I am not that old, but when I was a kid, if you put a Christmas tree up before were a weirdo. Now, people who put Christmas trees up after Thanksgiving are weirdos...and if you actually wait until Christmas eve, man, you are fringe-killjoy-Scrooge-lunatic.
I was in Walgreens right before Halloween stockpiling trick or treater supplies, and the stockboy was putting up the Christmas trees. I asked in my sardonic way if he was going to decorate it with a halloween theme, to which he replied, "Uh, I'd have to ask the manager, but that's a good idea!"
I propose we drop all three holidays and simply take off the entire last 2 months of the year.
We can call it Thanksgivoweenmas!

Prior Peter, OSB said...

Well put, Archer!


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