word up: the darkside of christmas

WORD UP: The Darkside of Christmas

I enjoyed being with my family. I enjoyed spending time with friends. Despite all the holiday cheer, laughs, food, and decoration, I still experienced a keen poignancy of sadness.

K calls it my artiste malaise. It laps against the shore of my faith. It’s a strange place from where I find emotion come from… call it my reality… a foreign thorn that finds me grieving a world that I witness from a little corner.

Christmastime happens to be one of those holidays that has me sitting in this corner. Perhaps one day I’ll reconcile myself with it and the holidays will make better sense to me but until then.. I am working on it and the day when I’ll know how to claim it for myself.

Isn’t Jesus the reason for the season? Isn’t the spirit of Christmas about celebrating the birth of a savior king?

Yes.. yes.. of course… of course…

There are those intelligent ones that will bring up that December 25h isn’t the real birthday and that the Christians had superimposed themselves upon what was once a pagan holiday to celebrate the winter solstice. And though it is refreshing to meet up with a consciousness that is not being taken with the wave of the masses so readily… it is not a good thing to meet with the smirkness on a reality that bends people out of shape…. or delights.

The tradition of trees in the house came from an early worship of the evergreens during winter for they were thought to have magical powers able to thrive in the snow and harsh weather. The twelve days of Christmas are a play on the winter festivals where people used to celebrate and party hard to punctuate the terrible weather with over-the-top fun… Animals were sacrificed and feasted upon and it saved on feeding another animal through a scarce season… Yule logs burned and people celebrated at the fire with lots of drink… and what was brought to the fire wasn’t always animal…

We eat gingerbread men cookies as a reminder of the good ole secular days. A study of the way secular society celebrated in days gone shows how witch burnings came about. Coliseums cheering with people enjoying lions as they fed on the early Christians…and people of Israel…

It was an interesting idea to take on the winter festivals and tame them. The early Christian settlers had tried to outlaw the festival in an attempt to separate study of faith from secularized Christianity… but that is a hard ball to stop rolling… hundreds of years of Roman civilized ingenuity and traditional entertainment… It is like ending the Superbowl… some things that unite people are too pervasive to end…

My how we have evolved?

Indulgence has always been the spirit of these ancient festivals and the innocent were slaughtered to feed fires… literally and proverbially.

Will secular society triumph in diluting the faith community? The machinery had been set ages ago… Will the modern religion of fashion and hipness overtake the spirit of celebrating the new life of a forgiven life leaving the residue of wantoness, loneliness and guilt? Will expectations overtake action in healing society and jade us all eventually?

The dark side of Christmas is really about the dark side of our humanity that troubles me…a blindness that we don’t articulate enough to search for light … to create light.

The reason for living is to celebrate the light of the world that has been brought to us… an eternal reason to adore life and choose life. And that reason extends beyond December 25th and the season…

A long time ago, someone thought that it would be a good idea to bring that light to a dark side of our humanity… it is still a competiting dynamic…

I’ll choose life… I’ll choose God. I’ll choose hope, peace and love… I’ll have my sad moments knowing that ignorance and hate finds space to delight… But I won’t ever offer myself as a sacrifice upon their Yule log.



~ by jnetsworld on December 28, 2005.


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