Helen of Marlowe's Blog

Don’t read this – it’s bah, humbug

Posted in Holiday, Religion by helenofmarlowe on December 4, 2010

Marta said to me, I love this season!

I must have looked rather incredulous, because she then said, You don’t?

The winter season, the Christmas season.  How can I not love it?

How can I not love it? Let me count the ways.

Christmas is a celebration of things I do not love.

Consumption, for example.

I’ve never done my fair share to keep the American Corporatocracy jingling. There are few things I want that can be purchased and brought home in a bag. I avoid shopping malls like a cat avoids the jays. Why would I want to go somewhere in December that I avoid without fail for the other eleven months?

When asked what I’d like for Christmas by the good spirit who draws my name from the hat, I usually respond that I want a goat, and I want it sent to Heifer International. I do this in spite of Miss Manners’s lament that donating to charity “should be recognized for what it is: the demise of the ancient custom of good will expressed through symbolism.” Miss Manners is right, and I would love to celebrate Christmas the way Jane Austen did, with small handmade gifts. I don’t see this worthy tradition making a comeback.  More likely, I think,  Christmas will be reduced to an occasion for everyone to exchange a $30 gift card.

Snow in our back yard

My problem may be  that I am a creature of habit.   I don’t want to break my routine, a routine that works for me, and start stringing lights around the house and decorating a tree which, to my mind, is perfectly beautiful without any ornaments.

My radio stations, that I listen to all day while working/playing on my computer.  The symphonies, the piano concertos, are all, with the exception of Tchaikovsky’s wonderful Nutcracker, all replaced with a month of Christmas music.  We will go to a performance of Handel’s Messiah.

And did I mention the weather? And what the freeze does to the summer pleasures of sitting on the front porch, reading in the rocking chairs, with birds enjoying the safflower seeds that I sprinkle along the rails? Did I mention the weather, and what it does to the pleasures of summer gardening, bringing in eggplants, crookneck squash, zucchini, vine-ripe tomatoes? And walking barefoot in the grass? Did I mention what the winter weather does to the potted palms and cacti and petunias and impatiens that I cannot bring indoors, because our house is too small for all the plants that bask on the porch all summer? I choose, and some I have to leave out, knowing they will die. This year it is various hanging baskets.

The days are cold, and the days are short. And I am all a-grumble.

I do not like Christmas. There, I’ve said it.

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