Walking through different cities, their squares ablaze and shops bustling for the Christmas season, you have to wonder if it is really possible to buy the festive season. We are certainly encouraged to believe so Christmas is the season of love, and if you really love someone, you will buy them a present equating to the value of your love. But love is an emotion which can’t be bought only experienced.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no scrooge, I enjoy the feeling of Christmas and talking of Scrooge, I think we’ve got it all wrong. It wasn’t his refusal to spend money that caused him to be isolated, mean and miserable, but his inability to experience the value of simple pleasures, human connection, joy and playfulness. It took the spirits of Christmas to wake him up.
It seems to me now that Christmas is very much a commercial festival, with little religious meaning left. Its a stressful time for so many people with so many ‘musts’ and ‘shoulds’ imposed upon us.
‘But you can’t be on your own at Christmas!’ So I have been told by others who assume that solitude equates with loneliness. In the past I was inveigled to take on the orphan role and attend others’ family celebrations. I’ve usually ended up feeling very much like an outsider, although they strove to include me. Of course I have enjoyed those Christmases with my grandchildren who shared their magic and excitement on Christmas morning.
Christmas is a peak time for domestic violence, the opposite of the peace which is promised us.
But its impossible to buy peace, love, joy, grace, play, conviviality. These are feelings, attitudes, moods which only we can create for ourselves and perhaps in doing so we can help others do the same.
Wishing you peace, love joy and grace