Let Nothing You Dismay


Either way, one clear effect of the War on Christmas nonsense was and is to further aggravate the already overblown sense of victimization, isolation, and indeed entitlement on the part of those who are interpellated and hence flattered by Bill O’Reilly-standard propaganda.

And that’s depressing, because that’s kind of made Christmas suck, a bit. I’m not particularly sentimental by nature but I do have something of a soft spot for the Christmasy peace on earth, good will towards men stuff: we need more of that in this nation. But the War on Christmas baloney points in the other direction. Let us not feel charitable: let us feel aggrieved!

Thing is, it’s not just the crazy Christians who get off on feeling aggrieved this time of year. It’s everybody who feels vaguely pissed that their holiday isn’t what they want it to be, and so Christmas is too busy, too spendy, too … not what it was when they were children, and I swear to God I spend half of Christmas talking about how Christmas, like Disney World and the Old Neighborhood and That Corner Store and Baseball and Movies and Books and Music, used to be good back when we were young and beautiful and now sucks ass. And these kids today have long hair and listen to bad music.

Adam Gopnik, who of course says it better than I could.

There’s already too much out there to feel bad about this time of year. There’s plenty of evidence the world is fucking burning down, if you’re lucky enough to have joy, you don’t need to go searching for misery inside every brown paper package tied up with string, to guilt yourself about whatever it is that you do, that it’s not “authentic” enough, that CHRISTMAS UR DOING IT WRONG.

I’m a pagan at heart, this time of year especially: Come inside and celebrate our swing toward light again. Come inside and tell stories about hope in dark times, celebrations of warmth and plenty during days so short it seems like the mechanism might just stall this time. Come inside and know that the people here will help where they can, and do what they must, and take their rest where they can get it, even in the midst of a frantic American Christmas, even with too much to do, even with Christmas not being even a little what it used to be.

Tell me what you do at Christmas.


11 thoughts on “Let Nothing You Dismay

  1. At Christmas I lament the loss of Halloween to those same people, and by New Years I’m over it, goodwill towards men etc, etc…

  2. this morning, I had my family at home. we slept late (the boys are in their 20s now, thank FSM, and were up until the wee hours Xmas-Eve-partying), and we’re having home-baked cinnamon rolls and coffee for breakfast. Those same boys will cook lunch, and our grandmother will join us.
    Plus, the Cowboys won.
    Now, what more could a rational woman ask for?

  3. feh, it was always about the eve. as a child it meant being with my cousins. the 2 of them. NO MUSIC. no claptrap. nice and simple. xmas day was with the mom’s side of the family. that spoiled baby boomers who had great xmases of yore. i have seen the toys they had.
    bah humbug.
    the war on xmas just makes me feel better.

  4. I’m gonna lay around all day, bathe about noon, make an apple crisp, and head over to some friends’ house for booze and food, to celebrate unplanned pregnancies and the failure of abstinence as birth control. 🙂

  5. as I posted at my place last week, December’s a tough time. I’m mostly in duck and cover mode the last couple years. But this year has been okay so far. Low-key, a few phone calls to the significant, a beloved guest for the day, a lovely meal, fond comments to the “home” blogs, wine and music.
    Not a bad day thus far.
    Peace and love to you and Mr.A, scritches to the weasels. Much gratitude, A.

  6. This year I gave everybody promises and apologies, except my son. I gave him Madden 2005 for Playstation2. We feel the cultural lagtime is worth the saving ($3 now as opposed to $50 in 2005).

  7. Work and weather finds this old elf at home by himself. Dad drew my name this year and sent me a new blogger’s uniform (bathrobe and slippers), and one of those direction finder thingies for my car. Cool present, but sometimes I enjoy being lost.
    I’ll get all misty for the old days here. I have seven sibs and we are all very close. Growing up there wasn’t much but there was enough. Christmas was a crowning point, a slowly building crescendo of Advent anticipation, gifts gradually filling up under the tree, stockings all across the mantelpiece and finally, Midnight Mass. I still wake up at 6am on Christmas morning, a sudden rush of youthful glee surfs through my mind. Then maturity creeps in and I roll over to sleep a few more.
    Christians whine too damn much. They have the most money, the biggest, richest churches, most of the power, and despite their revulsion of science, are the most technologically advanced. They got it all and now, they snivel and whine because they don’t have mine. Face it, Christians are petty, greedy, and materialistic. Where’s the charity? the humility? the grace? Good will toward men? Peace on freaking Earth?
    You can’t tell me that this is what Christ was born to accomplish. He didn’t suffer through his ministry and die on the cross to make sure there’s an iPod for Jimmy and Prada shoes for Sally under the Christmas tree.
    But don’t tell this to the Christians. No, they have their own truth; real truth need not apply. Yet despite it all, there is one rather karmic fact they’ve chosen to ignore.
    I’m sure they’ll be surprised to learn that Jesus, should he ever return to Earth, will come back more Buddhist than Baptist.

  8. Christmas Eve has become time at home with friends for me. I made a big pot of minestrone from homemade beef stock and our new neighbors joined us for dinner and wine this year.
    Christmas day is family time, at my parents with my siblings and their kids. Just enough time together, then home to fall back and regroup, getting ready to deal with the return to work tomorrow.
    I started a batch of Cranberry wine on the solstice this year. Here’s hoping the lengthening days bring warmth and happiness to you all.

  9. My immediate family (although not me in specific) is fairly wealthy, so I open a lot of presents on Christmas, and then spend most of the rest of the afternoon watching people interacting with each other and thinkingIf I were not even heare, nobody would even notice, and getting depressed about it. (On the other hand, if I got up and left, I’d be in hock, so there you have the Interrofamily Catch-22 — I specifically am socially obligated to sit there at family gatherings, shut up and look like I’m paying attention, so people can ignore me. And some people wonder why I became fascinated with power dynamics as an adult…)
    I also spend a lot of time right around this time of year wishing I could spend Decembers in Israel, so I would never again be bothered by obnoxious Christmas music or obnoxious Christians, for that matter. (In my more embittered days, I’m quite convinced the Israelis have the right of it, having Christians as a tiny and barely-tolerated minority.) Also, speaking Hebrew is fun.
    I’m not Christian, although my family is, at least nominally, and given my druthers, I’d rather not celebrate it at all. Want me to work? Great! Time and a half, please…

  10. Went up to the sister-in-law’s to make Chilli Crab and vegetable pulao for the extended family. Drank too much. Came home to sleepy cold cats needing body heat. Luckily, the family’s into silly gifts, although one niece gave me a very nice gift. Fingers still burning from superhot chillies.

  11. My girlfriend and I did what everyone does on Christmas (everyone we know, at least): went to the movies and then to a Chinese restaurant.
    (Okay, I suppose we could have gone to a Chinese restaurant first and then to the movies.)

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