Christmas without Santa, Jesus or even a tree
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When I was a little kid I like Christmas well enough. The innocent greed of childhood. Momma made a big meal, her dressing I'll always regret not knowing how to make myself. We didn't visit or receive visits. The two groups of relatives were wisely see only once a year. I didn't grow up investing Christmas with any glamour. Nor did I think about the folklore that had shaped the Western World for 17 or so centuries.
Leaving home I didn't give Christmas another thought. Being young and intolerant I despised the displays of capitalism's end of the year orgy. Or so I thought. Now I realize that without the profligate seasonal spending many businesses would make less money, providing fewer people with work. It is a silly scheme of things but who is foolish enough to expect a wise one (too many people and they are too loud).
After I opened my used bookshop Christmas became known as the One Day the Store Closes. (Little did I realize when I put up the "Open 364 Days a Year" sign that some people would have to ask which day we closed. And the inevitable wiseacres who think that they are the first one to note that the sign errs on leap years.)
Charles is a fourth generation liturgical organist in the Episcopal Church. It's a working day for him. Sometimes a sad day. He came from a large family that had Christmas parties, holiday traditions. They are all dead now. It can be the day he misses them most sharply.
I always buy my beloved presents. Otherwise to me it is just a day off. Not an extra day this year, I'm off on Thursdays. I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't spend the coming Thursday working on my weblog. And sipping vodka.
My mawkish side can enjoy treacle like the original Miracle on 34th Street. But to me it will just be Thursday. I won't be thinking about Santa or Jesus.