Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Holiday Season

I am not a fan of the "Holiday Season." When I was younger, a kid, I suppose I was; and when my children were growing up, again, I suppose I was. 

Oh yes, we have a tree, a wreath and some decorations and I guess it's festive in a decorative sort of way, but not spiritually, emotionally.

To me, this is a season of excuses: Excuses to spend more than one has; Excuses to frequently purchase gifts that will be rapidly discarded; Excuses to be "happy" without foundation.

If there is, indeed, a "Holiday Spirit," it should not be constrained to a short period. It should be, in my opinion, spread through the year.

It is not even a respite from the ills and woes of the world and so many in it. The dwindling middle class will spend a bit of money, then be concerned in January about buying groceries or gasoline, to say nothing of the ranks of the poor or working poor.

For me, well, I'll go to a shelter where I'll cook and serve food. It is not a higher calling; it is just what I do; and I do it regularly, not this time of year. Perhaps it'll make me feel "good," though it rarely does. It should, but this existential distress that I carry about 24/7 is difficult to break through.

To paraphrase Antonio in The Merchant of Venice, "…the world is not with me…" He enhanced that phrase with "In sooth I know not why I am so sad. It wearies me, you say it wearies you; But how I caught it, found it, or came by it, What stuff 'tis made of, where of it is born, I am to learn And such a want-wit sadness makes of me That I have much ado to know myself."