We Need a Little Christmas Now

18 Nov


We Need a Little Christmas Now

By L. Stewart Marsden


This year the Christmas innuendo began sometime in August, I think. It gets pushed back earlier and earlier as the merchandisers claw to the forefront of the buying public’s awareness.

You might be like me, and normally turn your nose in disgust at such blatant commercialism.

Now, however, I’m not so sure we don’t really need Christmas — at least the schmaltzy aspects of it — in the wake of the last few months. Pretty sure I don’t have to explain that last sentence.

Not because of the diversion the season offers, because, quite frankly, it also ushers in a host of contrary emotions and pressures — like having to meet the expectations of everyone by maxing out credit cards.

No. Not that. I still cringe at that one. I can imagine Harry Potter’s cousin at Christmastide, ravaging through boxes and wrapping paper, and asking his mum and dad, “There’s only 23 presents this year (you fill in the number)! Last year I got 28!” But, I’m sure none of your children count or shake their presents under the tree.

I know a guy who was a leader in one of the Boy Scout troops of which I was a member. Later — much later — Cliff became Santa on a full-time basis. Santa Cliff. I’ve kind of thought it was a bit eccentric, red and green not being in the spectrum of my favorite colors. I’m a purplish kind of guy. Christmas 365 days a year? And 366 this year? Over the top?

Knowing that the right jolly old elf had his genesis in some truth, it was still difficult when, as a parent, my older children started winking at me when talking to their younger siblings about Claus. I didn’t have to break their hearts. They found out!

Still, the magic of the season — however dim — still remains.

Christmas — a hybrid holiday of the story of Christ, melding cultish other ingredients — has its other religious and not-so-religious counterparts, much to the delight of those merchandisers.

But the underlying mood is what I’m getting at. Giving. Peace. An excusable time of the year to be nice to your sister. To your neighbor. To strangers on the street as you pass, offering a “Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza or Happy Hannukah — or merely Hankunamatatah!”

Fear not, for I bring you …

So this Christmastide, I hope I’ll not be so Grinchy. I’ll savor a glass of cheer with loved ones and friends and truly hope that humankind will be less tense, and more hopeful. More willing to give and serve. More diligent in seeking ways to lessen the spite and meanness we’ve seen, experienced, and perhaps participated in.

Looking back this year there are terrible things in the rearview mirror. With a broken heart, I say we need a little Christmas … now.

So to all I say, “Merry Christmas!” And, God bless us, every one!


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