CS Lewis (Was: Favourite books)

deborah.dwj at suberic.net deborah.dwj at suberic.net
Tue Dec 14 16:10:54 EST 2004


On Tue, 14 Dec 2004, Dorian E. Gray wrote:
|> Well, apart from those of us on the list who either don't celebrate or
|> don't enjoy Christmas.
|
|Replace "Christmas" with "Midwinter festival of your choice", please.  I
|left the phrase intact because it was a quotation; I don't myself celebrate
|Christmas.  To me the very basic point of whatever most Northern Hemisphere
|people are celebrating at this time of year is "hurray, the year has turned;
|longer days, spring, renewal, etc. are coming so let's give them a hand
|along with celebrations and encouraging candles and so forth".  And without
|meaning to offend the Christians on the list, I do think you can (or at
|least I can) boil Christmas down to fairly much that - the birth of the
|Saviour has to be the start of the renewal, no?

Hee.  Well -- not to be contrary -- I don't enjoy the whole lot.  **
WARNING: Mild irritableness (at none of you) below: don't read if you
don't like people to put you off your winter festival of choice. **

I celebrate Hanukkah, by which I mean I light candles and say the
blessings every night, because for a little agnostic girl I'm remarkably
observant of any religious requirement that doesn't fall weekly.  But
I'm afraid the whole Celebrate!-Carols!-Presents!-Shopping! thing that's
everywhere (and that I wasn't raised with any immunity to, in a lower
middle class Jewish community that wasn't big on the Christmasization of
Hanukkah) has put me off Christmas.  And Hanukkah.  And Yule.  And
Solstice.  And Kwanzaa.  And any holiday celebrated between American
Thanksgiving and Epiphany.

I admit it's worse because too many of my friends, raised in churches
but not emphatically non-Christian, used to take offense at my
non-celebration of Christmas, as if by doing so I were accusing them of
being -- gasp! horrors! -- Christian.  Then again, they also took
offcense at my celebrating Passover, because what business does an
agnostic following rituals that are a pain in the hiney, anyway?   It's
all settled down now, but I admit my favorite thing about Christmas is
that everyone else buggers off home for the week and I get to shmooze
around the house in my PJs, refusing to feel a smidgen of guilt for not
doing Christmas with Allen's family.  And -- except for the short days
-- I love winter.  I love New England winter.  I even loved last year,
of the famous "colder than mars" week (not making that up; last January
it was colder in the Northeast US than at the Spirit Rover.  Which our
hardy Swedes and Finns and such on the list can laugh at, but to us, -20
F / -40 F with windchill is *unreal*).

That being said, I still understand the sentiment.  I translate it, in
my Scroogelike mind, to "Always February".  And now Dar Williams is
singing along in my head, huh.

  First we forgot where wed planted those bulbs last year,
  Then we forgot that wed planted at all,
  Then we forgot what plants are altogether,
  And I blamed you for my freezing and forgetting and
  The nights were long and cold and scary,
  Can we live through February?

  ...

  And February was so long that it lasted into march
  And found us walking a path alone together.
  You stopped and pointed and you said, "that's a crocus,"
  And I said, "what's a crocus?" and you said, "it's a flower,"
  I tried to remember, but I said, "what's a flower? "
  You said, "I still love you".

I do like lights on trees and houses, though.  As long as they aren't
flashing.

-deborah
--
"No"
	-- Rosa Parks

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