Sunday, December 23, 2007

Why we have Christmas

This is more like it. This is more like Christmas should be. Christ—remember him?-came into this world poor and alone. He wasn’t surrounded by wealth. It was cold night, so we’re told, though no one’s ever been clear just what the date was...sometime in the springtime, I seem to remember.

I’ve said if I were one of the apostles I would have been the one stealing the keys to the donkey. And if I were at Christ’s birth, if I had had any role at all in this historic event, I would have been one of those shepherds, tending his flock, maybe in the rain, or huddled in his thin coat on a chilly night, his old dog the only thing to keep him company, pondering the stars and making music on a simple instrument.

It’s all gotten out of hand. Way out of hand. We all know this, but we don’t seem to care. It’s too much for us. Too much for us to fight. And frankly, it seems Christ has been more than a little absent for the world lately. It’ s like he said he was going to the corner to get a pack of cigarettes and that was twelve years ago. Damnit, he ain’t coming back, it seems, and we’re just going to have to deal.

But family and friends will still get together. Presents will be exchanged. Food will be shared. Some imbibing will occur. Why? Because we’re sheep and just do what we’re told? Because we don’t want to disappoint? Because we want to belong? Or is there some other deeper reason? A real one? Maybe for one time in the fucking year some yearning actually will get appeased? Given in to, and that in some form or another we actually behave in some semblance to the way we’re actually supposed to treat one another? I think that’s it.

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