Love came down at Christmas
Love all-loving; love divine
Love was born at Christmas
Stars and Angels gave the sign
This may be. Or rather, maybe at one point, this might have been. But it’s been a long time since Christmas was about love – unless you mean the amorous kind. I sure as hell get hornier around this time of year than at any other time; maybe because of the harmattan.
I saw a meme recently ‘Merry Christmas, NOT happy holidays; share if you agree.’ Of course I disagreed.
I don’t agree that we must go around at Christmas saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to everyone, on the off chance than they might be Christians, any more than we assume everyone is a Muslim at sallah. But that’s Christians and their arrogance for you. Unless of course you do not mean Christmas literally. Because let’s face it, it’s been a long time since Christmas was about the birth of Jesus.
Now, if Christmas was about the birth of Jesus, I would vote that we all went about mourning. Yup. Because Christianity is the most selfish religion I know. It is all about ‘Lord please let so and so not happen to me or mine because you love me, but it’s okay to happen to someone else’ or ‘thank you Lord I was the sole survivor of that accident, it must mean my life has more value than all the other people who died,’ and ‘Lord help me find parking space at the mall, never mind earthquakes and cancer.’
Christmas would also be about the birth of one man and incidentally the death of free thought.
Christmas would be about a total lack of forgiveness. How else do you explain to me that a man and woman ate an apple – or the woman had sex with a snake and then with the man, depending on your version of original sin – and for this , all of (wo)mankind must suffer eternally, and their Maker found it so grievous that after mulling about it for hundreds of years, he wouldn’t be consoled, so finally he sent his son to the world by raping someone else’ wife etc etc. to reconcile us to himself. But as far as I can see, everyone still suffers as a result of ‘the curse’ the first man and woman were cursed with.
Whew. Such confusion!
Not to mention ridiculousness in the league of talking donkeys and parting seas and men spending three days in the bellies of whales and being regurgitated like so much cud. And Virgin births.
See why I say we should be grieving instead?
But happily, Christmas has stopped being about absurd fairy tales a long time ago. Thank goodness. Christmas has nothing to do with three wise men and stars in the east, perish the thought. Christmas is a holiday. Christmas is about Santa and his many gifts and carnivals and lots of food and booze.
So, I love Christmas as much as the next person. Yup. It is the time of year when people let their hair down and part-ey. It is when people travel from far and near to be close to loved ones. It is when most businesses that can afford it let their staff take a few days off. It is a season of reunions. Rice and chicken in special plates. New clothes. Balloons. Plastic wristwatches and sunglasses and new toys. Fulfilled wishes. Sex with exes we will not see again until next Christmas. Yup.
Christmas is a lovely time.
I’m home with family. We are having a wedding of one of my sisters and another to plan in a few months. Surrounded by the cheers and talk and laughter and love, for a few hours each day, I manage to forget what a terribly sad place inside my head has become since the death of my best friend who managed to die a few weeks before he was to come home for Christmas when we had planned to paint the town red. I manage to forget how different this Christmas was supposed to have been.
Here’s what I say; do something different at Christmas. Or new year. But for the holidays. See other cultures. Make new friends. Glean new experiences. Never been to Calabar Carnival? Go. Some people have never left their comfort zones, the people and places they know. So if it’s more of the same for you this year, then plan for next time. Go somewhere you have never gone. Follow a friend to their village. Or go to Carol night in another church. Or crossover service in a different church. Your god won’t be mad, only your pastor. Unless your god is petty as most are wont to be. I am. I am going off to Dubai for the new year with friends.
Just remember that it is a holiday.
Permit me to prescribe one more thing. Christmas is not a season of goodwill to all (wo)men. Shame on you if you think this way. If you wait for a special time of year to exhibit goodwill. Kind of like people who refrain from certain vices on special days like Sunday, or seasons like lent. Or Ramadan. It’s silly. Wake up every day to the resolution that you will do good to all people, good as far as your conscience resolves is the right thing.
Let everyday be Christmas.
But for this period, I say Happy holidays.
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