The Mighty Viking

Conquering those things we must, one story at a time

Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Let It Flow

Christmas was cancelled by the gubmint this year, if you haven’t heard.

Gatherings are banned. Its a sign of the impending Apocalypse. Go home, hug your wife and children, and prepare for The End.

And that’s just the start of it, right? The godless “Festivus” has perverted our celebration. Secularist celebrations have become a bastion of rebellion for disaffected, unapologetic sinners and unbelievers. Pandering to all of these are the thieves of body and soul – cultural consumerism and greedy opportunists of every kind. The Spirit of Christmas is under a full-time assault.

This war against Christmas is, itself, a pandemic threatening to ruin us all. The early church compromised to integrate with pagan traditions to ingratiate itself to the ruling gentiles (Something about a dislike of being fed to lions). A materialistic society has institutionalized the annual fleecing of we, their consumers. Through these our Christmas Spirit has been infected and threatened for nearly two millennia. And it is taking a toll. Evil has infected everything. It would seem perhaps to the devoted Christian that we should be mourning, not celebrating. There is no hope for mankind.

Or… is there? The way I read all my holy books, and see no command from the One I serve to celebrate his birthday. I see no institutionalized prescription for “putting Christ in Christmas”. Indeed, nowhere in his recorded words did he tell us to keep throwing a birthday party for him every year, let alone how to do it.

What Jesus, the basis for Judaism and the foundation of the Christianity, did say, over and over, was “love your neighbor”. He only had to say it, because we already weren’t doing it. “Love your enemies”, because we had amassed a lot of them, and weren’t managing them well.

“Love one another”. He said it over and over. Its like he was planting an ear worm.

There were, long before Christ’s time, liars and cheaters of every kind. There were systemic abusers from the very top of society and government on down. Murderers of body and soul flourished, and He landed in an obscure country to the reigning Empire, to as humble a beginning as can be imagined, to tell us to love each other. Many and vocal are those who insist it WAS imagined. Why would a God do that? How is love going to fix what clearly requires power to control others?

But yet, every year starting in the late fall, something magical happens. The entire world changes from its usual business, if only a little in some places. Strangers greet each other in a small but different way. Children learn how good it is to receive, and this grows into an empathetic adult tradition. It grows over the course of a month or two to a crescendo, until it is heard around the world. These children, so often the focus of our holiday, are taught how good it can be to receive joy, and become parents and aunts and uncles and… well, sometimes just friends, who give because they remember the inherent love they received. Commerce pauses – if no other time of year, than at least this one day. People spend time and effort to look around for joy, and to make some of their own, taking blessing from the imparted happiness to others. Through masks, and distance, through health-driven ordinances and isolation, people have found a way this year to love each other. On battlefields, soldiers have paused to celebrate life. In hospitals, in prisons, in the dark alleys and slums of society where suffering is rampant, the glow of what we call humanity is found. But what is “humanity” if not love?

It seems to me the Spirit of Christmas IS an infection. We may guard our bodies from death with masks, gloves, and distance. But rather than nitpick over the human failures of spirit, let’s spend a day rejoicing over the pandemic invasion of Love, regardless of what name we know it by. Spread it by whatever means you find available. Be infectious with love.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

This is the Spirit of Christmas. If you call it by another name, so be it. It still is what it is, infectious goodness

Let it flow. Let it flow. Let it flow.

The Christmas Dreary

Once upon a Christmas dreary, children screaming, getting teary

Over several bright and glossy tomes of merchandise galore

While they prodded, nearly popping, seemingly there was no stopping

From without there came a hopping, hopping at my chamber door.

“’tis some visitor,” I muttered, “hopping at my chamber door.

Not my children I adore.”

Ah distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,

And each separate credit card wrought its ghost upon my door

Eagerly I wished the ‘morrow, vainly I had sought to borrow

From my bank surcease of sorrow –sorrow for the lost cash flow

For the rare and radiant paycheck, whom the angels named “cash-flow”

Nameless here for evermore

Ah, so softly did they succor, whine and made their brows to pucker

So they played me for a sucker, crying, sighing all the more

So that now to still the beating of my heart I stood repeating

“‘Tis the season to be giving, giving all to help the poor.”

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the words, “the poor?”

This I heard, and then much more.

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so sharply spoken,

”Doubtless,” said I, “what they utter is their only stock and store,

Caught from some grim advertisement warning shrill that woe and lament

Follows fast and follows faster if its warnings they ignore

Till the dirges of their languish blend with howls of needless anguish

Yea, of sadness, evermore.

But the children still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,

wheedled sweetly through the doorway, child and merchandise galore;

Then, upon the bedpost sinking, I betook myself to linking

Fancy unto fancy, thinking what these anguished children bore–

What this ghastly advertisement meant in croaking “You need more!”

Always this, and always more.

Thus I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the kids whose teary eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;

This and more they cried beseeching, in my head I pondered preaching

On the notion that their leeching brings upon us creditors

Creditors whose endless screeching rails upon my chamber door

Rails upon me, evermore!

But the children, never flinching, still are sitting, still are clinching

So my answer had no meaning—little relevancy bore;

Not the least concession made they; not a minute stopped or stayed they

But, with mien of lord or lady, perched before my chamber door–

Perched and wailed their mournful tale to me behind my chamber door–

Perched, and wailed, and little more.

Presently my soul grew meeker, hesitating, much the weaker

“Child”, said I, “or demons, truly your forgiveness I implore

Now I sense my purpose clearly, clearly as in days of yore

Darkest night and plaintive sobbing grants me wisdom lost before

Peace on earth, good will toward parents comes from merchandise galore.”

With installments, evermore!