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Monday, December 18, 2006

Seven more sleeps...

Christmas is a big deal in a good part of the world. For some it's all about Christ and seeking spirit. For many, it's got the scent of that, but it's more about families, gifts, rituals and a good break from day to day work and school.

I love much of it - the smells, the lights, the music (especially Bing Crosby!) and the informal visiting that goes on in our co-housing community. I am aware though, that for many people (maybe most of us) it also brings out feelings of loneliness, expectations, childhood lost...not to mention credit card anxiety.

What about you?

What do you like or love about this festival?
What is difficult or annoying about it?

One of my best Christmases was in Khartoum Sudan. I went alone to a hotel and ate a big meal of Nile perch (don't ask). Then I looked for a party I heard about - it was supposed to be filled with humanitarian types (OXFAM, Red Cross, UN etc). I got lost driving up and down dark, dusty lanes and was going to head home when I saw Christmas lights and all kinds of cars. Sure enough - big party.

When I went to the door I was embraced by a woman in a little elf outfit (very un-Sudanese believe me) and welcomed in. Turned out it was a petroleum industry bash... and they thought I must belong. There was illicit booze, smoked salmon from Scotland, Belgian chocolate, dancing on tables .... making out in the corners. All the stuff the other party wouldn't have.

A few times in conversation I was discovered to be an intruder, but was embraced again and again and fed enough booze and good food to be dehydrated for days. I even sneaked some chocolate and salmon out for my now-sleeping housemates.

Good Christmas.

The best thing about Christmas is getting to hear that catchy Paul McCartney "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time" song.

ba ba ba ba ba ba simply having a wonderful Christmas time ba ba baaaa

It won't leave my head.

Billy Squire also has a good Christmas song.
The best part for me is waking up in the morning with just the family. That quiet time together opening gifts. I could care less about the gifts but I do enjoy being w/the kids getting their gifts.
The worst is all the work to make it all come together.
I enjoyed your story.
Merry Christmas.
Your narrative sounds like a Gogol Bordello song!

I personally had some shitty Xsmas experiences when I was younger. But I always liked the gloom, the lights and the drive. Shopping is not my style, unless... no, shopping is not my style. Usually I make linoleum or wood-cut-prints. Haven't gotten there yet ... but I must!
I hate the buzz, but I do like the thing they once called the 12 holy nights. It gives me time (it is sort of a spared out time) to rejuvenate prospects I was lingering about.
I'll talk to you before all this happens for sure, so I will not wish you a Merry Christmas for now.

(PS. Global warming sucks. We don't have snow ... and I can't hibernate!)
I like the darkness and candles, it puts me in a more introspective frame of mind. Hate, hate, hate the shopping and crowds. Not keen on the guilt, either. And there's not enough singing and waaaaaay too much canned music.
Well, that's a good Christmas story, G.

I think it's fun when the Jedi wake us up, wide-eyed and amazed that Santa came and left presents. I like the excitement that ensues over the opening of the presents with each one being the "favorite!"

I don't like having to feel badly about not buying lots of nice things for everybody.
it's for kids!

and christians, I suppose. or those who have kids.

also it's best enjoyed when you don't have much, then it's special. it's for poor christian kids!

and you need snow. it must be absolute hell to be a childless muslim living in Australia at this time of year. the best thing you can do in those circumstances is to throw your radio out so at least you don't have to endure flipping Paul McCartney.
I like Christmas Eve. Des 24th is the main day for us here, and at five o'clock the churchbells chime and we know it's Christmas. That's when everything stops. We sit down for dinner listening to the boys choir that sing on TV every year. Then - after a loooong dinner we serve coffee and we open the presents. One by one while every one watch. I'm still hoping to just get envelopes with a card that says the money they intended to spend on my gift has been donated to some charity.
Ian - you cracked me up!
Nerdine - I spend 5 Christmases in Norway, har en fantastik jyletide!
Nice range of thoughts so far my friends...from love Sir Paul to hate him. From love the action to seek darkness and candles.

Yes, Ian you're pretty funny - I suspect you'd have been a hit with Jesus, who must have had a sense of humour to get through all he had to put up with.

When our kids were younger, Christmas had a lot to do with the magic they experienced. Especially at about 5:00 am when they woke up asking if it was time to get up yet...
Christmas for me is the music of Christmas, its celebration of many types of music and Carols (especially Australian Christmas Carols). Its begins each year with a performance for the residents of a nursing home, combined with Bellringers encapsulating what is festive and all about Christmas.

Even though it’s hot, songs like White Christmas are sung and this year. I sang that song in memory of good friend, one departed, just as I had undertaken earlier in the year, as he liked it especially for it was as reminder of his days in the Merchant Navy. Under severe bombardment during a lull, over the airwaves came White Christmas to revive the spirits of the men to lifted them from their gloom. So I dedicated that song again at our little concert in his memory as all of the residents joined in a second time around. Soon it will be time for more carols and stories of yesteryear, to be told again as reminder of our heritage and hopefully in a spirit of goodwill and peace, temporary as it may be !.
Best wishes
I have mixed emotions about Christmas. I don't like the whole gift thing in general. Why should we limit ourselves to giving big gifts on just one day when each of us has hundreds of little gifts to give every day?

I also don't like the traffic, crowds, and raw tempers. My office is across the street from the busiest mall in Memphis, so the traffic is hell.

On the other hand, there are the good things:

*Christmas carols
*Secret Santa at work (always fun)
*Santa Lucia candlelight service at church
*The lights--I love Christmas lights

My best Christmas memory is one year when my grandpa made reindeer & sleigh tracks in the snow so I would really think Santa had been there.

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