I am feeling rather contemplative today…it might be the gentle drizzle we had last night, my favorite kind of night, cool with just enough mist to feel cozy inside; or it might be that the house is empty again and I was left alone with my thoughts for the first time in almost a week; or it might simply be the holiday season, which always presses my melancholy button.
I actually like Christmas, but not the traditional Christmas marketed to us with obnoxious holiday music blaring from store speakers, or gaudily-decorated stores promising your children’s love or your lover’s adoration if you buy the perfect gift right there in their very aisles, or the chronic “gimme, gimme, gimme” that kids have learned the holidays are about: presents, presents, and more presents. No, I could happily live without all that. My favorite Christmas song is “Silent Night”, and always has been. No matter your religious beliefs, no matter if you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or something else, I genuinely believe the season is, or at least should be, about peace and giving. Not seeing how many presents you can score, or teaching kids that an overweight felon in a tacky red pimp suit will hook them up with toys if they are “good”, generally defined by whatever behavior most behooves their parents at that moment, or letting the day revolve around boxes, wrapping paper, ribbon, and bows, and a credit card statement to painfully regret after the New Year.
My favorite part of Christmas is giving a special gift to the people I love; not bustling out on Christmas Eve to land something, anything, to scrunch up in a ball of paper to say I had something to give to you, but something I have thought about a long time, something I think you really want and will like, something that will make you genuinely smile when you tear off the paper or open the box. It’s not about the money spent or even the present; it’s about giving someone something that will make them happy and feel treasured. It doesn’t even have to be something that can be placed in a box and wrapped up in tissue and bows. It can be a phone call, a letter, a sincere “I love you” when someone needs to hear it.
So, touchy-feely post is over, let’s move on. My Lightning lost again over the weekend, but we won’t discuss it because (a) I’m in denial about my sucky team, and (b) it is far too depressing.
You know….Christmas cease-fires are not unheard of. Even front-line enemies, like the Germans and the British in World War I, can stop fighting for one night (read all about it: Christmas Truce). Of course not everyone was game, and there’s an asshole in every pack who wants to keep lunging for the jugular simply for the joy of being cruel and to relish the sound of their own blood-sucking leaching, but it leaves me wondering: if we can knock it off for one night, why the hell can’t we knock it off 364 more nights per year and actually begin a genuine civilization? If wartime soldiers loaded with weapons could do it…can’t families, spouses, friends, relatives, couples, races, genders, just people, at least try?