Tuesday, November 11, 2014
'Tis the Season
I get it. I understand peoples' frustrations. In fact, I've bemoaned the commercialization of Christmas before ("Black Friday and the Spirit of Christmas"). But, I have to confess that I love the Christmas season. I love watching the movies. I love listening to the carols. I love walking through malls bedecked with tinsel and stars and lights and kids climbing onto the laps of Santas. And I'm clearly not alone. Most of us appear to crave the holiday season. We can't get enough of it.
I think the reason why is because it evokes in us a desire for something more. It taps into our longing to be better people and live in a better world (Aristotle might say that it evokes in us our longing for eudaimonia). It recalls the sense of magic that Christmas had for us when we were kids. It engenders feelings contentment when family and friends gather to celebrate life and one another other. It elicits images of a world in which the lion and the lamb lay down together and nations don't train for war anymore (Isaiah 2, 11). And isn't that world in which most of us want to live? I suspect so, and if I'm right, that might be why the Christmas season begins a little earlier every year. And while at first it may seem like a bad thing, I'm unconvinced that it is. It isn't only for the money (although that's part of it). It's also because we long for a world where it's Christmas year round. And I think that's a good thing.