Turning Point

As the “Keep Christ in Christmas” crowd gears up for another Yuletide season, its capitalistic brother wonders about how good Christians will shop during a pandemic.  We’re not great materialists in my house, and our holiday spending tends to be modest.  Even so, the stocking stuffer is the kind of thing you find while browsing in stores.  I don’t feel comfortable indoors with strangers now.  Apart from groceries and hardware I haven’t been in any kind of store for at least a month now.  How to get ideas for those little, often inconsequential gifts that are demanded by homage to Saint Nicholas?  The holiday season is a wonderful amalgamation of differing traditions that should, in a perfect world, suggest openness to all and inclusivity.  At least this year we have that to look forward to.

Inclusivity is a gift worth giving.  Many of us are weary of the privileged “angry white man” who has held control of just about everything for the past several centuries but is still never satisfied.  The holidays around the winter solstice—itself the marker of days finally beginning to lengthen again—should be a symbol of the many traditions that make Christmas what it is.  There is no one “pure” idea of what this season represents (beyond shopping) because people all over have traditionally welcomed the return of light after many days of darkness.  Sometimes that darkness of exclusivity can last for years.  Now that we are beginning to spy a sliver a light on a distant horizon perhaps we can see enough to correct the error of our ways.  Perhaps.

That still doesn’t solve the dilemma of pestilence-filled stores where people want to huddle inside because it’s cold out there.  I can’t seem to recall where they hung the stockings in the manger, but surely they must’ve been there.  It’s how to fill them that’s the issue.  Our world has become so virtual.  How do you put streaming into a sock?  How do you stuff that cuddly subscription service into hosiery?  In a pandemic we’re reaping the fruits planted by a technologically-based society.  The art of browsing hasn’t been electronically replicated.  It’s the moment of inspiration in that curiosity shop that seems to be missing this year.  Most of us, I suppose, would be pleased to find a vaccine in our carefully hung stocking.  At least a government that takes the threat seriously will be something to anticipate.  Just a little longer, and the light will be coming.

4 thoughts on “Turning Point

  1. Hi Steve,

    Stocking stuffers … what to do? Writing is an important task we should all entertain. For a few friends, I buy a simple blank journal book. inexpensive at the dollar store. A pen that works, and then, I photo copy all the prayers, thoughts and ideas I’ve collected, that are written in my Big Book, so that whomever gets this package can just “tape into” their book, my little witty comments and ideas about God and Spirituality.

    It does not have to be some materialistic grandiose gift from a store, but a more personal gift from the heart that matters more, because it is a gift that cannot be bought, but comes from the heart.

    Oh, yes, and a candle to light when we pray to signify the presence of God.



  2. Pingback: Turning Point | Talmidimblogging

  3. Dave

    Helping the darkness to comprehend the light a little better is my “pure” idea. To do that without being an “angry white man” is the goal this year. Have guitar, will “Keep Christ in Christmas” …in every town with one or more Santa Clause and the blatant omission of Jesus.

    (oops ..started to get angry again there for a moment) Peace to you !


    • Peace to you also, Dave. There’s a very long tradition of marking this time of year for the slow end of darkness and return of light. Christmas is definitely part of it, but not the whole story. Thanks for your comment!


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