i. love. christmas.
December 8, 2002 11:35 AM

I love christmas.

Christmas is a fantastically pagan Christian holiday. It's a consolidation of winter festivities from pretty much every other religious practice early Christians encountered.

And I love it. I love picking out and lugging a giant, dead tree into my house. I love colored lights (mostly purple, none of those tasteful white lights for me). I love ornaments from all over the world, including things some small child made with glue and glitter. I love gift wrap and candles and shopping at the mall late at night, parking a mile away and fighting through crowds. I love those old half-hour kids' specials animated with puppets. I love the process of giving gifts to others, love the generosity that seems to ooze from everyone. I love Patrick Stewart's one-man "Christmas Carol"; hell, I like nearly any version of that play.

I'm not religious, but I even like going to churches and synagogues during this season. They all seem so blissfully lit up and inviting.

We just put our tree up. It's the first truly large tree we've had. Something over eight feet tall; we had to buy a special stand for it and get out the ladder to put a star on top. It's a big, fluffy fat thing; we may not even have enough ornaments to cover it.

It's excess. But there's something spiritual and poignant about the excess of this season. That the West End (essentially the upper class suburban district, though there's also a major office park) of town is filled with donation tins stuffed with dollar bills and angel trees surrounded by bicycles bought for unknown children. It would be better, of course, if everyone would be so giving of their excess all year. But it's nice that we can at least do it for a month or so.

We become lit up and inviting ourselves, spilling over onto anyone nearby.

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