We drove down to Maine Mall yesterday - three days before Christmas. Yes - it sounds crazy to me as well. It was raining to boot, and the temperature was at that nutty place where you had either too much or not quite enough clothing on so we were constantly removing something or putting something on to adjust the personal thermostat.
We got some things done. Had a Starbucks coffee at a high table and watched people passing by. It’s amazing. You ever feel like some people left the house a little quickly? I am reminded of the diversity that seems to define who we are and wonder at all the outcry about Syrians and others who are coming into our country to find refuge from tyranny. Since when was that a problem for us? I always see middle eastern or African men and their women in their distinctive dress when I go to the mall but yesterday I saw none. It probably means nothing. Yet it made me wonder: have we in our xenophobic pandering to the ignorant and bigoted come to the place that we deny who we are?
I’ve always wondered if the economic factor were removed from Christmas, what effect would it have on the celebration itself. I’m sure “annual” Christians would celebrate but what about others for whom religion is not the driving factor in their lives? And really folks, that’s quite a few of us. Or, dare I say it, what about persons of other traditions - you know, non western traditions?
Here it is for me: the retail industry makes Christmas happen. And, perhaps you have noticed, any religious meaning is carefully avoided in marketing. The way Christmas is practiced in this country is mostly from a Pagan tradition anyway, not Biblical.
I enjoy it, nevertheless. CA and I exchange small gifts. The family from afar send boxes filled with gifts. It’s fun. But it’s not religious. We celebrate each other and reaffirm that our love is real. We remember those who are no longer with us. Christmases past.
We had a late lunch at Panera - a half cob salad and baguette. It was fun, even in the late December rain and record breaking warm temperatures. Then I thought: where I hail from, South Louisiana, this was normal Christmas weather. Strangely, that thought doesn’t comfort me. I live in Maine. Let it snow. Hmm, just as I thought: nobody’s listening.