New Age Bah Humbug

New Age Bah Humbug

JAQ_ee posted 24 Dec 2011

In an age of rising awareness, supposed increasingly spiritual and environmental clarity and enlightenment, the rate of cynicism around Christmas seems to be increasing by the year. 

I am not a follower of Christianity, nor of any orthodox or organised religion, and I understand that the correlation between Christ and the holiday celebrated by most westerners on the 25th December is increasingly becoming a moot point.   But the endless bitching about increased commercialism, overpriced products and obligatory gifts always makes me sad in a time, which, as a kid, was just simply about the Magick. 

For me, Christmas is about sharing a day with my kids and my close family members and friends.  It is a day that is outside of the normal grind of everyday life, a time for great food, making the house look gorgeous, sparkling with light and fun and laughing at the crappy (and hilarious) dancing Father Christmas on the mantle.  It is about the sheer pleasure of seeing a loved one’s reaction when they open a gift that has been bought with a little thought and love. 

But what are we celebrating? When the World is going to shit should we not be concentrating on our environmental woes, the hypocrisy of our leaders, the rising prices, the impending end of the World? Whattimeis there for ‘pointless’ celebration, what right do we have to celebrate while wars are waging, recessions are plummeting us into economic disaster, world hunger, famine, pestilence…and the list goes on.

But when did making time for celebrating life, family, or just our ability to enjoy a great bottle of wine become so self-righteously wrong?   What possiblereasonis there to fight the good fight, to win battles with our own inner demons, to work and work towardsanything, if giving, sharing, relaxation or just the pleasure of a great lunch with good company is rendered unattainable or – and the irony will not be lost on any non-Christian readers –sinful?

“But Christmas is just commercialised crap, a Hallmark holiday headed up by a fat guy in a red suit selling Coca Cola to kiddies, or alternatively should only be observed if you happen to be into JC!”

Sure, Father Christmas is a very recent mascot for our celebrations on the 25th December; so is Jesus Christ, in the scheme of things. But are our contemporary myths, figures of magic and deities (and hence the focal point or excuse for a party) any more or less valid than that of dozens of pagan and ancient religions? 

Pre-Christian pagans had a full 12 days of Yule festivities and religious celebration in December are wide-spread across many cultures, including Ancient Egypt, Babylon, Persia and throughout Europe.  Peoples of all different cultures would eat, share, give gifts, decorate their homes and generally make merry. 

There may have even been a cheesy dancing deity or two for the kids to laugh at.

Why did they do it? Times were hard – harder, on an individual level, than most of us living in the fat, affluent West will ever experience.  Months spent enduring hard labour, hard work just to feed the family or to put a roof over the heads of the children, and probably no end in sight. 

Perhaps for the religious leaders it was about their spiritual obligations, but I suspect that for the common man, these celebrations were more like anessentialexcuse to stop, smell the roses – as such – and enjoy life. To celebrate the achievements of the previous year, even if that was just in keeping your family eating for another 12 months - and to rememberwhat the point of it all is.

 scrooge bahhumbug

What recharges the batteries of the human soul more effectively? Angst? Indignation? Exhaustion? Or is it Joy? Imagination? Fun?

I hear you say, “but Christmas is not about joy.”  It is about overspending, over-eating, and will probably will be spent in the inevitable Hell of listening to Uncle Phil – who you probably can’t stand and are only obligated to see once a year – talk in half-drunken terms about his latest conquest or bowel-movement. 

Well, I agree – yuck.  But does it have to be like that? Who makes that choice? It is ‘society’? Is it the pushy retailers who we apparently have no power to resist? Is it the extended family that insists on our loyal attendance every year?


If there is ever a question of whether Christmas can be a joyous and above all (lest we forget, jaded adults!) – fun experience, follow a kid around a shopping centre right after the Christmas lights have been put up. Youare seeing a horde of crazy shoppers, overpriced food and increasingly bullshit commercialism.  All you will see in their eyes is the wonder of something sparkling and special.   

I wish you all a beautiful and joyous celebration – choose it! Why not? :)

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Serene Spirit since Aug, 2015

A passion for website development, free speech, the kooky and the scientific. Seem like a strange combination? That's me :)

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