So let’s talk about Christmas, the granddaddy holiday of capitalistic excess and pleasure seeking. It’s all around us, but what does it mean?
Christmas, in Christian terms, is the JJ Abrams style reboot of the perennial celebration that has occurred as far back as we are aware around the globe. At this time of year in the northern hemisphere the sun has reached its lowest point, and it rises the least high that it will rise for the year on December 21st. This is the shortest day and longest night of the year. This date is significant for a myriad different reasons, but the most basic reason is that because the sun is so low in the sky, unsurprisingly, it is very cold. Because of the seasonal drop in temperature, the average life of a human on planet Earth in the northern hemisphere gets much more difficult.
So this is *the* hard time of the year, as far as our material needs are concerned. I thought this was “the most wonderful time of the year!” It is easy to believe the saccharine whispers that waft around you in the corporate feeding lines known as supermarkets and drugstores that “Christmas is awesome!” But, really it’s not. This is a hard time of the year for everyone, and the reason that we historically celebrate the winter solstice festivals is to combat that difficulty. It is an attempt to shine a bright light of hope in the darkness so that we might remember that easier times are only months away!
But in modern terms, Christmas is more of a forced, hedonic orgy of wide smiles and manic searching eyes and shouts of “Everything is Fine!!” “Everything is Wonderful!!!” When, it clearly isn’t. Christmas is a modern sacrificial rite where the plebes buy as much shiny, stupid, useless crap that won’t be interesting 10 minutes after its opened in order to appease the Corporate Gods of Commerce, the holy-deities-on-high.com. We buy it for the Great Directors of Purpose (GDP), and if we don’t, well then they’re only going to have to shine even more nauseating commercials into every available sense organ in your body. We’ll stimulate submission out of you yet!
In a weird way, the Christians are right when they say that the reason of the season is Christ. There is a tiny candy corn of truth in the giant bowel movement known as modern Christianity. Christianity was originally a solar religion. Christ is the sun. This is not to say that Jesus is a giant orb of Hydrogen, Helium, and fusion created electrons pulsing at the center of the solar system, even though that would be pretty badass if it were true. The sun represents something in us. The sun gives life to this planet. Without the sun we’d be offlin…
Jesus, the “sun” of God, was born on December 25th. When the sun hits its lowest point on December 21st, it appears to sit at that lowest level for 2 or 3 days, and then it gets moving again. It appears to hang in the sky, and in much more ignorant times, many might have thought that it was possible that the sun would never come back. But, the sun is a really nice dude, and like an indie band after a night of playing songs that no one knows, it comes back for an encore with the song that you know by heart. Here comes the sun! It’s coming back! Yay! It’s risen from the dead! This song is way better than their last single!
December sucks. I hate to break it to you. It’s so fucking dark all the time. You have to learn to ice skate just to get to your car. The power goes out because the giant ice monster has descended on your hapless burg to grinch the fuck out of your life. And just imagine how these trifles would have seemed to your ancestors of even just 200 years ago. It’s only very recently that December has become semi-reasonable. It used to be the monthly equivalent of your phone exploding in your pocket. I believe there is a story in the bible where some guy, the month guy, was talking to Jesus, when Jesus asked:
“Is this a good month?”
“Well as long as it’s not December Jesus, why do you ask?”
“Oh sweet Jesus we’re fucked”
And that is the lessons folks. No, wait I didn’t give the lesson yet. Ahh! The lesson is that shit is really hard this time of year, so we humans have a tradition of getting together to support each other and be nice to each other in spite of all the darkness and depravity that is all around us. It’s the time of year where we get together and cheerlead the fuck out of hope. Because, the sun is rising! The new dawn will come. In the midst of all this death, putrefaction, and decay, the new reality emerges from within the cocoon, a flower in a roiling swamp, whose blossom will be born again.
So remember that it’s ok that things are tough right now. Life is a waveform, it goes up and down. We use this time of year where the “down” is so apparent to serve as a grand reminder that there is always hope. We might be hanging upside down in the devil’s cage, but soon our people will regale the new born age. Be well.