Posted by: Chelsea Novak | December 19, 2006

In search of holiday spirit

It’s hard to pin down why, but I’m not feeling the holidays this year. Things started off well enough. I got the tree up, marveled at it’s beauty, got the cards sent, completed all the shopping, played my holiday CDs ad nasueum, enjoyed a cup or two of coco, I even have dough waiting for me in the fridge to be transformed into sugar cookies, but I’m not feeling the usual excitement.

I know some of it is due to the green holiday we’re experiencing. The snow seems to be an important player in creating holiday magic for me. Also all continual debate about Christmas trees in public places has been a real enthusiasm killer. It’s not a problem I can fix, it’s also not a problem I completely get. Trees are pretty. Yay.

I suppose, to be fair, one should be religious to truly have rights to weigh in on the issue. Christmas has pretty much zip to do with Christ for me. Perhaps because of that I should just let go of celebrating it. I don’t know. It seems to me that the holiday has shifted from it’s traditional celebration of the wee infant Jesus to a family celebration of gift giving. It just happens to fall on the same day as when Christian’s celebrate the birth of their lord and saviour. (An interesting reversal of how the Christians subsumed the pagan holidays that traditionally happened around the winter solstice).

What I love about Christmas is all the lights. How we respond to the growing darkness by covering our homes and buildings with beautiful colours. Winter is really dreary and holiday decorations help in concealing that for a little while as we ease into the cold. When I see a Christmas tree I think “ooh that’s pretty!” not “Go Christianity!” The occasion has evolved way beyond that for me.

Anyway, I digress. This year Christmas seems to be depressing me. As it gets closer each day I feel lower and lower. In a lot of ways, it feels like it’s already over and I don’t entirely understand why.

But I don’t want to bring other people down around the holidays, so this will be the last I speak of it. More often that not, you can brighten your mood just by acting like you really feel that way. If I keep smiling on the outside, the inside should catch up in good time.

Today’s sing-a-long song: “Have yourself a merry little Christmas” as performed by Crystal Gale on the Sesame Street Christmas special way back in the ’80s




  1. Christmas trees are really not Christian, per se. They’re actually an… appropriation from the pagans. And they smell nice and look pretty so everyone should have them! That’s my decree from on high. High being the name of my office chair, apparently.

  2. Yeah, I think the secularization of Christmas is just desserts for those early Christians that decided taking over other cultures’ celebrations in order to indoctrinate them into Christianity was the best way to add to civilization.

    Besides isn’t there some historical evidence that indicates if Jesus was born he wouldn’t have been born in the winter (based on the whole journey to pay taxes or something)?

    It was a constructed holiday in the first place and it caught on because it’s happy and colourful. So I say everyone can take part in Christmas, it has nothing to do with the Christ part anymore anyway.

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