Thanksgiving ought to come after Christmas. I have so much more to be sincerely thankful for once the damn Christmas season is over. Thankful not to have to listen for another year to “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Santa Baby” and “Sleigh Ride” being played over the sound system three times a day everywhere I go. Thankful to be able for another year to buy a bar of soap or some ballpoint pens again without having to make my way through crowds of people shoving to be first in line. Thankful that for another year we can all stop taking each other for granted as though all the other people in our lives are just just extras in the movies, all of them titled My Perfect Christmas, that are running in all of our neurotic little heads.
There’s a lot of right-wing hoo-ha over the so-called “War on Christmas” but if you ask me, what has destroyed any spiritual meaning in America that Christmas may once have had is all this insane emphasis on shopping shopping shopping, and if some department store decides that it wants to say “Happy Holidays!” instead of “Merry Christmas!” then why for Jesus’s sake would anybody who actually cared about Jesus’s sake want to try to talk them out of this? Wal-Mart announces that it will no longer use the word “Christ” as part of the advertising slogan for its annual campaign to make a ton of money for themselves, and those who claim to care more about Christianity than you or I do are trying to freaking put pressure on them to change their mind? Do they suppose that Jesus’s beef with the moneylenders was actually that they had just decided to move their business out of the temple?
Looks to me like the real War on Christmas happens when the thoughts and feelings we associate with Jesus are exploited as a means of persuading us to buy a PlayStation 3.
I leave tomorrow for five days at a retreat way the heck up in Humboldt County, an hour’s drive from Highway 101. A chance to unwind, spend an hour writing in my journal every day, meditate a lot, take part in workshops, give a workshop, take long walks through the woods, get a nice long massage, and so on. When I get back it’ll be a new year and hopefully I will be renewed and ready for it.