Wednesday, December 19, 2007

In a Barrel Over Christmas

I notice that I’ve been feeling unusually blah about Christmas this year. I feel like being quiet inside and letting it all go on by.

I have four vibrant grandchildren and usually put much thought into finding a gift for each one, treasuring the Christmas morning tip-toeing of a child down the stairs to see what Santa left in her stocking. We all know Santa isn’t real, but it’s such a fun pretend!

But this year…blah.

Perhaps it’s my spiritual journey, just retreating more and more from the materialism of it all. The jingle bells, advertisements, the never ending Christmas muzak in the grocery store and shopping malls.

My retirement income isn’t much, even though my grandmother heart is as wide as the ocean. I’m starting to feel like something is wrong. Should I be loving more, buying more, giving more? Especially buying more.

I have the idea of all these conniving advertisers, casting images of the perfect Christmas, with the real intent to make shoppers feel like a barrel of shit…until they buy their product. And all of us well-meaning friends and family members, scraping bottom and feeling guilty and inadequate to the occasion. Feeling like barrels of …HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!

I see a pattern here and I’m giving it a name - The Barrel of Sh-- Theory of Christmas. Just giving it a name, I found myself laughing longer than I have in years. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!! It’s so irreverent!

As for the spiritual meaning of Christmas – the birth of the divine idea, the baby Jesus, the refugee parents, the manger, angels and all – that story lives and gives hope of transformation to anyone in a lowly place in life. But Jesus was poor, and had no use for pretense of riches or importance. Whatever would he think of his birthday today?

I think he’d understand exactly why I cringe at the thought of it all. There is nothing wrong with my love, abundant and flowing in all directions. There is nothing wrong with celebrations – holy or pagan – and may we all dance for joy. But I wish for my gift giving to be guided by inspiration, by love, regardless of the season. Let there be perfect need and response, and may I have the honesty to be there when the Spirit calls.

With love,