Yes, so I'm not an active member of a Christian church, and I know that Jesus of Nazareth wasn't born on December 25th (more likely in the spring, during lambing season), and I know the early Church planted Christmas right after the Winter Solstice to subvert the earlier Roman festival of Saturnalia and the pagan European Solstice festivals (like Yule). But like most secular Euro-Americans, I love this great, bizarre, lumbering behemoth of mixed pagan traditions, wrapped in colorful Christian trappings and tacky commercialism. It's Christmas (rhymes with Swiss Miss).
I didn't love it last year. And I certainly didn't love it the year before, with six inches of raw sewage in my bedroom. But I'm starting to get the feeling back. Yes, I absolutely miss Samantha at this time - most of my Christmases had been spent with her. And yes, I absolutely miss my dad. My world, and the world at large, is a less wonderful place without the two of them in it.
So I put on some Peter Gabriel last night and cried my fucking eyes out for a good twenty minutes.
Just another stone in the wall of memory. It was good and cathartic and I needed it. I think some of the melancholy not only has to do with Samantha and my father, but with the recent news that a heavy hitter in the RPG industry was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (metastasized to the liver) and his prognosis isn't good. Well duh.
Despite all of that, I feel really good today. My house is as clean as it ever gets, I'm having dinner with the stepmom and grandparents today, and we all do Christmas here tomorrow. Sam's brother Doug will be hanging with us - a first, I believe. I'm looking forward to it.
You know, underneath the religious dogma and the secular commercialism, there's a real kernel of universal truth and wisdom at the heart of Christmas. I'm blessed to have a family and circle of friends who GET that. The guy who cut me off in the Westwood parking lot, the stressed out yuppies killing each other over who gets the last Wii in the shop, they don't get it. If you've read my blog more than a month or so, you probably DO. :)
So think of that kernel of truth and wisdom at the heart of Christmas and what "holiday spirit" actually means. And know that I mean this from the heart:
Merry Christmas, and a Happy, Healthy and Miraculous New Year.
And now, here's some nog that I'd like to dig into, and it's totally better for you than the stuff with the eggs. ;)