Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fighting the Elimination of Substance

Maybe the pre-Advent Christmas Pop Culture sugar rush of 24-7 secular treacle and tinsel just got to me. The non Christmas Holiday specials on television coupled with the non Christmas carols on the radio culminated in a feeling of supreme dullness. Granted it was Disney but these stories which lack genuine conflict, risk, sacrifice and depth of feeling,  not to mention actual history, and these songs which overdose on sentiment without context or actual company felt like so much bad fruit cake.  

Then it occurred to me what all of these shows that sung about friendship and reunion without the trials or actual feelings that form bonds or make renewing such bonds significant, and all these radio tunes that chirped along merrily about winter, lacked...substance.  Personally, I get why there are bands dedicated to Summer --but there isn't a snowy month equivalent of the Beach Boys because snow and ice don't generate that kind of "let's party joy." fall, isn't something that by itself, lacking the actual occasion of Christmas, generates a call to song.   I was tired of holiday trees and winter festivals and love songs about how cold it was outside. I'd had enough. 

My kids howled when the tv was turned off, even worse, I changed the codes.  I also put on the boring "classical music" which oddly enough, only the teenager really objected to...hah!

I declared it shall be, a drive towards a less secular Christmas for most of Advent and even worse (horrors), took away the plug to the wi-fi.  While initial protests were mutinous, without recourse (I hid the plug and the remote) the house quieted down. 

Two children went upstairs to play. My daughter did the dinner dishes.  We gave baths and read Christmas stories and said prayers.   Yes there were still skirmishes.    "Mommmmm, he said I'm a rat boy!" and "Mommmm, she's in my room!"  and the like and yes there were still long repeated commands of, "It's bed time. No more talking." and the obligatory patrol to turn off all lights and take away flash lights.   We made cookies. Some of us even visited and laughed.   It wasn't perfect, but it was closer than what had been a means of killing time and losing it. 

I know this is a battle that will go on and there will be weak nights, but I know not giving in beats letting them consume the constant flickering of content/calorie free "holiday" food put out there by all the networks.  We got out the classic films, we've got out the Christmas books (we have scads).  Taking back Christmas will take real carols, walks in the actual cold, prayer and a fire in the hearth to build a fire in their hearts.  

Christmas is about Christ. We all know this, but the world keeps trying to somehow have all the trappings of Christmas without the reason. It isn't a war on Christmas, it never was, it is what it has always been; since the first Christmas when Herod ordered the soldiers out to kill the innocents, a war on Christ, a war on God, a war on love and the fruits of love, be it children or family or hearth or home or peace.

What should be a feast of love has become a feast of abundance and overkill. It is hard to talk of such things and not sound the grinch ...because Christmas is, even if Herod orders the soldiers and Christmas is, even if Black Friday results in fights and fines and people confusing preparing for the feast with getting flat screens and Wii U's and ten thousand other gadgets that mean no one has to share and no one has to play with anyone else. Christmas somehow breaks through despite our best efforts to muddle, muck, confuse and ignore its existence, because love is like water, it seeps in through every hole, it permeates everything, and it is necessary for our continued existence and the only source of actual happiness.

Advent, the time of blessed waiting is upon us, advance a bit towards Christmas every day, by doing something for others, so as to grow closer to Christ.  
Have a blessed Advent. 

No comments:

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!