Christmas: The Crusty Bread of a Shit Sandwich

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Posted by admin | Posted in Mental, Spiritual | Posted on 27-12-2012

Let me explain…

Christmas is indeed a pretty cool time.  It is when we all become just a bit closer to each other, and not only are we visibly making efforts to be nicer to each other, we actually mean it too!

It is such a magical time, that some years ago, I posted how I believed that the “holidays should be practice,” exemplifying what our behavior should be during the rest of the year; our acts of kindness and benevolence during the holidays should serve as personal reminders of what we should be doing all year long.  This will be my “v2.”

However, in order for much of this to make sense, there are some things that need clarifying.

First, Christmas Day does not mark the end of Christmas; it is the beginning of Christmas.  I personally remember when “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was a holiday carol that meant something, and wasn’t just recited for comedic purposes.  (Mind you, I don’t mind and actually like the comedic versions, but not at the cost of the original.)  Well, it seems like even I had forgotten the meaning of Christmas, so I had to look up what the twelve days were.  (I mean…did Christmas really start on the 13th of December?)  Now, having been raised in Spain in a house of mixed ethnic backgrounds—yes, I can indeed “habla”—I remember a time growing up when gifts were given to us on the 6th of January, but since I had an American father, I also received some on the 25th of December.  (Bonus!)  There had to be a connection.  After not much research, it turns out that the twelve days of Christmas refers to the festive period commemorating the birth of Jesus, starting the 25th of December and ending the 6th of January.

Now, I realize that most people have “evolved” or in my opinion “devolved” into thinking that the Christmas season is that time between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day that all the houses are lit up and people are decking each other at stores to get the great shopping deals, and I would agree that it is a part of it, because Christmas in indeed special, and we should be preparing for it every year.  Sadly, thanks to commercial entities, Christmas has effectively shrunk from twelve days to a single day.  (If you’re one that believes that there is a war on Christmas…well, there was one, it wasn’t what you thought it was, and we lost.)

Even sadder, Christmas has become an excuse.  We view Christmas as a time where we need to be nicer to each other.  Although that can be construed as a noble sentiment, by using Christmas as an excuse to be better people, we are effectively justifying our cantankerous behavior the rest of the year, as if such behavior was meant to be the norm!

But anyhow, so we now know that Christmas is indeed a twelve-day season that begins on December 25th and ends on January 6th.  Because I am a nerd who likes numbers, I couldn’t help but realize that six of the days of Christmas are at the end of year, and the other six are at the beginning of the year.  I reveled at my personal epiphany that each year not only ends with Christmas, but also begins with it!  I have rediscovered the “Circle of Christmas!”

However, my jubilance was short-lived when I remembered that Christmas is our “excuse” to be better people.  Essentially, we have six days of “nice” at one end, six days of “nice” at the other end, and in between we stuff 353 days of “cantankerousness.” Yes, I’m afraid Christmas has become the crusty bread of a shit sandwich.

Why do we, as human beings, supposedly capable of sentient thought, accept this within ourselves?

We can do better.  We can BE better!

We don’t need excuses to be nice, we need excuses to be not-nice; being nice should be our natural state.  How we behave during the holidays should serve as personal reminders of how we should behave throughout the year.  If we can become better throughout the year by using the holidays to standardize what our behavior should be, then the holidays next year, we can become even better!

Most of us make plans all year for a single Christmas Day.  Let’s instead spend the year actively and mindfully planning for each day of the Christmas season.  It shouldn’t be that difficult.  Twelve days in Christmas…twelve months in a year…  (Remember, I’m a nerd.)  How about if we choose a day each month–off the top of my head, the ides seems the least intrusive–and spend thirty minutes planning for just one of the Christmas season days?  Each day doesn’t have to be a full-day celebration, just a mindful day.  Who knows?  If we make it a growing trend, we could eventually change the world, even if it only means eating fewer crappy sandwiches…