When I set out on this sojourn to the frozen north of eastern Alberta, I had some goals in mind. Paramount was to divorce myself from consumerism and fashion dictates. Who is to say what is "in" and why should I care? There are people in this world just trying to survive. Survival is in. Eating is in, but dining does not have to be. Just eating to see the next day would be so wonderful for many people on this planet. People call themselves Christians, yet are so stuck on buying a credit card or two worth of things they do not need and no one wants for Christmas. They give their children endless presents, and the child does not remember what s/he got the day after, except for one or two. A year later, the child may not recall a single present, only that s/he did not get what s/he wanted. The spirit of giving is small, stifled, rotting in some pile of papers in an office. People on the streets are being ousted from the only homes they have all over North America, while the fake Christmas trees are lit in warm homes. What is wrong with society?
What Christmas means to me is none of the trappings and wrappings. I am a Who from Whoville. I do not need anything from the store or really, anything at all. My goal of not keeping fashionable has been reached. I can confidently go out in public in clean clothes of no particular style and I am comfortable not wearing any makeup. Finally, I have arrived. Nature is more important to me than stores. Being on my farm and in communication with the Earth and its creatures is my Christmas. Tending an ill chicken, a bunny with bad ears, a dog with a thorn in his paw, a tree that needs a little shoring up -these are my gifts.
My heart breaks for our world. So much of the world has not enough food or clean water and we have everything and more and are never satisfied. Christmas is not something that comes from the store, not something that is glittery and cheap or glittery and expensive. For many it is survival, just that. Most do not know or care about Christmas. They would just like a drink of clean water and some food, perhaps a warm soft place to lay for the night and no more.
I am thinking of something wonderful. Imagine, by John Lennon. He knew. He opted out too. Imagine John's world of nothing to kill or die for, living in peace. That is my wish for Christmas. That is what I want Christmas to mean for me. Peace. Not just the word, but the actions. Soldiers laying down their guns, countries sharing with each other with no boundaries or ownership, and yes, God, too. Not the judgemental God of the Christians who will send us to Purgatory for sinning, but the Creator, who made all that there is, this is the God of Christmas, and of the animals and of the trees and of you and of me.
Merry Christmas to you! May your soul be troubled by the turmoil and hatred in this world and may you too, find your way to peace by making some real changes in your life. Give peace a chance.