In these New England villages and towns I’ve noticed it slowly while driving to this or that seasonal celebration. The holiday lights on the houses and in the yards are fewer this year, switched on later and turned off earlier. At the parties the cheer is a bit more forced. Inside the malls the shoppers all seem a tad glum, the stores’ offerings and blandishments forced, and the sales sooner and more drastic. There’s nothing dramatic, only a sense, a strangely unnerving sense, that this Christmas season is, in a word, diminished.
Somehow this last year now passing has slowly and steadily broken every promise made when it began. Instead of revival, the nation and the spirits of its people have been slowly immersed into a state of quiet desperation as its history and institutions have been stripped from it in such a methodical manner as to seem malicious. Those sworn to be the servants of the people, to preserve and protect their traditions and laws, prove each and every day to be not the exemplars of the best of us, but of the worst.
Now, as we move from the last night of Hanukkah towards the morning of the birth of Christ, our false servants are swearing – for no clear reason – to pursue passage of their rejected laws and Byzantine litigation right into the eve of Christmas. It’s a frenetic secular sacrilege mounted in some obscene ritual to instill in Americans not a respect for their government but a despair of its intent. It tarnishes the season and it is the death of hope.
At the same moment, the supposed leader of the country, raised up out of a lifetime of hustle and charm, out of a “handful of gimme and a mouthful of much obliged;” raised up from obscurity on an historic wave of optimism, flits about the world on a gigantic airplane trying to bestow large sacks of money he does not have on other nations who do not deserve it. He flies into snow and cold across the oceans for half a day. He speaks some petulant words and for a couple of hours huddles with other gnomes of ill-star. Then he flies back across the ocean into another snowstorm in Washington where more weekend blather and petulant yabble is being brought to bear on the “urgent” problem of how to spend the most money on the fewest people.
In the house which this cardboard “leader” and his family inhabit, the people’s house, the word “Christmas” is spoken seldom and then grudgingly. The traditional Nativity scene was to be kept in storage this year but was brought out, again grudgingly, only when it was clear that the political cost of hiding it exceeded the cost of displaying it. We were informed that this man and his wife and children once spent twenty years sitting in a Christian church in Chicago, but the role of Christ and Christmas in this church evidently took a back pew to the endless racial tribulations and racist obsessions of its pastor and parishioners.
Yes, the national Christmas tree was lit this year, but it may well have been called a “holiday tree” (I wasn’t paying close attention.). I’m sure that bunting and decorations suitable for the public areas of the White House are all in place and suitable for framing. But I doubt that in the private quarters anything resembling a traditional Christmas will take place. I don’t know this, but I sense it. And I have found that my sense of things pretty much parallels the sense that many of my fellow citizens have. Our sense is that this Christmas is, as a result of all that has transpired during the last year of this “historic” presidency, diminished.
Read the whole thing.
Me, I'm going to church this morning praying that the fellowship of believers and the spirit of Christmas will infuse my soul and provide the peace the passes all understanding. All that we have is a gift of God. It's what's in our souls, not what's in our wallet that gives us comfort.
I would suggest that the author and y'all come down here to the Ozarks where the greeting is still "Merry Christmas" and the love is abundant. We didn't have much to begin with so the loss is minor.
Cheer up, it not only could be worse, it probably will be.
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