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Date:12/25/2014 11:56:44 AM
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Christmas, Part II
Last time I wrote about the Christmas blues and hinted at what a countryman or woman could do about this. I am made to think that part of the problem arises out of what commercialization has done to the traditional celebration of Christmas. The hype begins in November and ends abruptly on Christmas Day. We all have seen how Thanksgiving has been spoiled by the Black Friday shopping frenzy. Shoppers make plans to arrive at Walmarts and such at 3 AM and literally fight each other to be the first to get the gifts they want to give to honor Christ's birth. By the time Christmas comes, we are tired of the carols, the specials, and the stress of meeting all the demands we think we have to in order to celebrate Christmas properly. We've forgotten that traditionally, the twelve days of Christmas were observed after the 24th and that the Christmas decorations were put out and the tree was decorated on Christmas Eve. We've also forgotten the complete Gospel accounts about the Nativity. Most people only think about the birth of Jesus, if they think about these things at all. For me, I celebrate the Feast Day of the Holy Family on January 1, when the love and sacrifices of Jesus' earthly parents are recognized. I also celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany on January 8, when the Christ child was revealed to the Magi and given gifts which foresaw His future. For me, I continue to play the Christmas carols on my pickup's CD until January 1st. From now until Christmas, I read all the Gospel passages concerning the birth of Christ. In short, I make Christmas a spiritual experience. I enjoy the family get-togethers and the gift exchange, (I am as surprised as anyone else as to the gifts I've bought, considering that I don't have the time to shop) but I keep Christmas within my own heart. It is a deeply personal observance, unaffected by the quality of the gifts I receive or whether there's snow on the ground. Next time, I will complete my thoughts, such as they are, about Christmas, the blues, and the Christmas spirit. --Gary
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