I love Christmas.
I love Christmas. I can’t help it. To me it’s the holiday that best encapsulates my unshakable basic attitude toward the world, ringed as it is with a wide-eyed sense of anticipation and child-like wonder. I love its insanity. I love the insensible monster of a myth it involves, and I love the absurd beauty of the rituals. I love the light-spangled streets and artful shop windows, and I love the excuse of gift-giving and gatherings. I love the phrasing of it–a poignant warm spark in the midst of winter–and I love the crazy Messianic history. I love the nativity scenes, and I love even the ugly costs of commerce and expenditure, expectation and stress.
Or perhaps, above all, it’s just that I just love the way it stands as a schism in the everyday–this beast of a holiday that blunders like some white-furred Yeti through the country, rattling up the ordinary and driving everyone indoors to huddle with their families to wait until normalcy descends again.
(I am a better partaker than I am an organizer, though, or better suited to marveling than manufacturing. So this year, as so many before, I played happy guest to more than a few warm and inimitable celebrations. This year, as so many before, I felt blessed.)
So I am glad that this holiday fades into winter, rather than disappears. The ending is not too abrupt; vacations stretch and the approaching New Year holds open the door to wonder, and the trees of the city stay sparkling and lit. And I am glad, too, to be home now, wrapped in a new woolen scarf, grateful for the celebrations and waiting, quietly, for the final days of a dying year.