Sunday, 13 December 2015

Christmas, the Great Pretender

Even as a child, I had a love-hate relationship with Christmas.Like most if not all children, I loved the festivities and (of course) the presents, but my father would always find a way to spoil Christmas for me and drive home the conviction that it was all a beautiful fantasy, a dream, and sooner or later needs must reality start biting again, fiercer even than any winter.

Regular readers will know I am not a religious person although you don’t need to be religious to appreciate the spirit of Christmas. Religion - Christianity or whatever - is meant to be about peace and love, a fact history may well be inclined to dispute. Whatever, there is a feel-good factor about religious celebration that I suspect its founders would not disapprove. For all the evil and hardship in the world, there is also much good, and for that we must be thankful and spread the word.

The human spirit may well be the epitome of stoicism and resilience, but both feed on hope and the kind of inspiration we see all around us in good people everywhere, no matter their colour, creed, sex or sexuality.

The likes of terrorists and psychopaths such as Islamic State, Boko Haram, and Al Qaeda cannot hope to get the better of the finer human spirit for all the dastardly acts they may inflict upon mind and body.  Small comfort for their victims,  but light, at least, at the end of a long, dark tunnel; a light their attackers will never see for all they may attempt to call upon religion to excuse their behaviour. Religion for the true believer is an inspirational way of life not an excuse for barbarism; nor, for that matter, is it an excuse for anti-social behaviour at any level.

How many religious celebrations, I wonder, are enjoyed by those simply playing at religion and/or hedging their bets regarding mortality …?


Rudolph, the red nose reindeer
has a very shiny nose,
and makes a wish every year
that on Christmas Eve
it won’t just be cold, but snows,
creating a Christmas world
of peace and love, too rarely   
more real than a beautiful dream
painted on a card

Hey, there, Frosty the Snowman,
Santa’s on his way
so be sure to listen for jingle bells
for quite possibly his elves
have loaded a surprise for you
to ease the bleak midwinter,
rework every child’s imagination,
sure to invite even the holly and ivy 
in on the magic

Christmas time, mistletoe and wine,
cause for celebration,
no matter our social, cultural, sexual
identity or even religion
for the Spirit of Christmas brings
hope, love and peace
to mind, body and spirit, shades
of darkness transcended into angels
on wings of light

Oh, Christmas tree, oh, Christmas tree,
as good a metaphor for fantasy any…

Copyright R. N. Taber 2013

No comments :