It is Christmas Eve and people all over the world will be doing their last rounds in getting ready for tomorrow, the world’s most celebrated holiday. There will be little dispute that for many people, much of the religious significance of Christmas, though it hasn’t been lost by any stretch of the imagination, has been somewhat pushed into the background at the expense of the huge commercialisation of this time of the year. Even with the gaudily wrapped packages, flashing lights and the millions of dollars spent at this time of the year, many who say that arguments which claim the spirituality surrounding Christmas is waning, will beg to differ.
We, however, see a definite change in direction and the stores filled to the brim with shoppers as compared to the empty church pews, will bear this out. If we are to go even further, there will be solid arguments surrounding the sharp increase in robberies at this time of the year when several people obviously put away the love, sharing and caring – the reasons for the season – for any opportunity to get some material gains, whether for themselves or for those whom they wish to impress by offering some token that will place them in favour.
Though, it is not our intention to try to pontificate on the changing times and the drive away from the religious to the commercialisation, as far as Christmas is concerned, we think it is something worth talking about. It allows some food for thought even as the new year approaches and there will be many exhortations to make sincere pledges or resolutions, most of which will speak to one’s quest to be a better person as far as living well with his fellowmen is concerned.
The reality is that after the celebrations are over, and they will very quickly be, all of the peace and all of the goodwill disappear as well. All thoughts of the Christ-child will diminish until this same time next year when many will again shout it at the top of their lungs while wheeling out last year’s merchandise that wasn’t sold, ringing in new profits from the old stock and reminding us of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s offering that dates back to the 1950s. A half century later, take a look around and see if there have been changes for the better or for the worse.
Christ Climbed Down
Christ climbed down from His bare Tree this year and ran away to where there were no rootless Christmas trees hung with candy canes and breakable stars .
Christ climbed down from His bare Tree this year and ran away to where there were no gilded Christmas trees and no tinsel Christmas trees and no tinfoil Christmas trees and no pink plastic Christmas trees and no gold Christmas trees and no black Christmas trees and no powder blue Christmas trees hung with electric candles and encircled by tin electric trains and clever cornball relatives.
Christ climbed down from His bare Tree this year and ran away to where no intrepid Bible salesmen covered the territory in two-tone Cadillacs and where no Sears Roebuck crèches complete with plastic babe in manger arrived by parcel post the babe by special delivery and where no televised Wise Men praised the Lord Calvert Whiskey.
Christ climbed down from His bare Tree this year and ran away to where no fat handshaking stranger in a red flannel suit and a fake white beard went around passing himself off as some sort of North Pole saint crossing the desert to Bethlehem Pennsylvania in a Volkswagen sled drawn by rollicking Adirondack reindeer and German names and bearing sacks of Humble Gifts from Saks Fifth Avenue for everybody’s imagined Christ child.
Christ climbed down from His bare Tree this year and ran away to where no Bing Crosby carollers groaned of a tight Christmas and where no Radio City angels ice-skated wingless thru a winter wonderland into a jingle bell heaven daily at 8:30 with Midnight Mass matinees.
Christ climbed down from His bare Tree this year and softly stole away into some anonymous Mary’s womb again where in the darkest night of everybody’s anonymous soul He awaits again an unimaginable and impossibly Immaculate Reconception the very craziest of Second Comings.