Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Christmas – BAH, HUMBUG! A whole lot of anxiety, expense, merchandising and customer exploitation – for what? Yeh, sorry folks, there was time when it all came together for me but that all ended with the rise in popularity of upside-down Holiday trees and politically-correctness and society thumbing their noses at the real reasons that we celebrate Christmas.

But amazingly, in this ‘Season’, (that once was so charming with Carolers, Nativity scenes, decked-out horses, Church Bells, home-made gifts, and joy and peace), and in this ‘Season’ (that is progressively a celebration of nothingness), I sit here in my cozy kitchen feeling as warm and happy as any Holiday Fanatic. I did not realize until today that this same feeling comes to me in a timely fashion every winter.

When the cold weather sets in, I get a feeling radically different from the self-centered, self-indulgent days of summer when all I can think is that someone else should be making the ice for my cold drinks, and serving them to me, and weeding my garden as I lounge like a lazy cat in the warm sun. But self-indulgence flies out the window come winter. What hits me then is a greater sense of intimacy with friends, a greater connectivity, a greater appreciation, and greater gratefulness for these blessings. And all of this has nothing to do with Christmas. What it does have to do with is plunging thermometers and howling winds.

So now, in order to explain this, I must first ask, “Have you ever noticed how even loosely-knit people with diverse cultures, values, religions and political persuasions rally and come together when threatened?” Quite surprisingly, this even includes remote areas with scattered citizens that have no sense of kinship, ionization, or communal bond. But yet, if there be danger, any danger, people come together.

It only takes a small rumble on the seismic scale to shatter individualism. It only takes one vulnerable moment to reshape individuals with distinct personalities into a homogenous mix of ‘groupees’. Insecurity leads to a combined and condensed effort to cope. Amidst one small peril, pride is sacrificed with ease and all become an essential part of a solidified and well-jelled concoction of humble people.

So now, if you understand that, you understand why Canadians are the way we are. For six months of the year we are blasted with extreme cold, mountains of snow, blustering winds, and ice fog. And as if that weren’t already enough, we have the added complications of snow removal, jelled gas lines, icy impassable roads, battery boosters, stalled cars on main thoroughfares and frozen septic tanks. In this kind of threat, one can’t retain individuality. Caring and sharing become the order of the day. If Hub’s tractor won’t start, the neighbour cleans our driveway. If their car battery is froze up, we give them a boost. And when we are battling any of these problems, from doorsteps you will hear the cry, “Yo! Sorry I don’t know your name but you get in here right now and warm up.” And so it becomes apparent that in the midst of winter peril, we all come together in mind and soul and spirit with others in the same boat.

And so even those of us that are muttering BAH-HUMBUG come together with the same force and assertiveness and common thinking as lovers of the ‘Season’. With eyelashes frozen shut, face and fingers numb, booster cables connected and a heat-source of some sort strategically placed under a vehicle to warm it up, with sidewalks finally cleared, we become woven together in a common endeavor to survive another harsh winter.

And so, at Christmas time, love and appreciation for all of our fellowman reigns supreme. The season doesn’t allow anyone to rise above their own needs or the needs of another. So we are forced, in this climate, to scrap individualism and engage in a common mind, thought, and purpose. It just so happens, that all this occurs, when the Holiday Season is upon us.

"So joy and peace to you.
Stay warm, m’love."


Blogger Eliz said...

And when the weather gets too obnoxiously cold, Canadians head for my neighborhood! It's the best part of January... hearing the Canadians talking, the cool (think 60ish) weather they bring along, their friendliness... Ah. Only have to wait until next month!

The same thing happens here with each threatening hurricane. It is the only event that draws South Floridians together in harmony. (Until the traffic lights are blown away and the free-for-all begins)

8:42 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

Hi eliz, always nice to have you stop by. Certainly if anyone can relate to these contemplations, you can (more than I, even). Thankfully I hear that hurricane season is over with (though nothing in today's climate is at all certain). So we will carry on, bravely until next time -- you with the perils of hurricanes, me with the perils of the bitter cold. But in the mean time HAVE A JOLLY CHRISTMAS!

11:21 PM  

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