I did not want to emerge from my cocoon this morning.Â I have the clock radioÂ on loud to encourage emergence, but I find thatÂ if I put my head under theÂ covers,Â I can listen comfortably. I was up late last night wrapping presents, packing my suitcaseÂ and preparing the apartment to be left for a few days. I’m driving up to LA this afternoon, and then Cassie and I are going up to Orinda to spend Xmas with her brother’s family. It will be ace.
The nostalgia centres of my brain are on overdrive at the moment, as has been noticed by friends, but I love Xmas, always did. I don’t come from a particularly large family, but when we were all together, it was a happy time.Â I like presents, obviously, and as my fortunes have improved, I enjoy buying gifts for people. I have been frustrated at my own lack of foresight and gift-buying imagination sometimes, especially when I see the wonderful array of one-off stuff available on the net. But in general it’s an exciting time for me.
I’ve taken to calling it Xmas in recent years on this blog. It’s partly a Futurama reference, and partly trying to avoid the religious connotations. I’m not religious or superstitious (the same thing, aren’t they?). Xmas for me has always been about the season, the colours and atmosphere, the food, the music and the imagery. I have no problem with the disconnect from the original meanings, be they Christian, Pagan, or other religion.
I have no shame in telling you that I love Xmas music. My favouraite Xmas song is Greg Lake’s I Believe In Father Christmas, which has an anti-war message (of course, for the time) but also a couple of interesting lines aboutÂ about belief. Plus the Troika melody, which always brings a tear to my rheumy sentimental old eye. Also in the running:
- Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses (just awesome, and a great story) (the clip isn’t The Waitresses, but is a hilarious cover by some one-hit wonders – check out the skiiing!)
- Stop The Cavalry by Jona LewieÂ (another anti-war song, with bonus points for mentioning nuclear fallout)
This morning, the blaringÂ radio had an item about the Humanist winter celebration,Â HumanLight, which is celebrated on December 23rd, halfway between the winter solstice and Xmas. Humanists gather, sing songs, play games, and do all the regular Xmassy stuff, but with an emphasis on reason-based (as opposed to faith-based) beliefs, and trying to create a peaceful and prosperous future for all.
While the imagery of HumanLight doesn’t appeal to me, and the music I heard on the radio certainly doesn’t, I appreciate the effort to make something concrete for this time of year. There’s a kind of “don’t ask, don’t tell” thing around this time, where if someone askedÂ me whyÂ I wasÂ using all the decorations and religious imagery, I’d have to make some general comments about liking the season (much like here).
Does that mean I would like to get rid of “traditional” Xmas? I don’t think so, I’m too fond of it. But it may be necessary in the future. The War Of Attrition On Christmas, perhaps.
Anyway, I appreciate the HumanLight sentiment. All the best for the season, and I wish you all a happy, peaceful and prosperous new year!