Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's a Wonderful Life: Christmas from a Father's Point of View

Toddler boy sitting on Santa Clause's lap

So it is that time of Father Christmas again. Surprisingly, I am not really in much of a Christmas mood (yet) but there are certain vibes in the air. Alas no snow here to bathe all in its traditional white glow but then again there are still a few more days left.

Anyhow, Christmas and with it Santa may have a new admirer this year: my two-year-old son. He had his first encounter with the big bearded ho-ho-ho fellow at the mall. And my son was more than thrilled. He is asking Santa to get him a garbage truck.

All this aside, I must say there is also a cynic in me. Call him Mr Humbug. Christmas sometimes seems like a bunch of baloney, a calculated, mean-spirited attempt to exploit and capitalize on people's sentiments in order to make money. Heck, it is generally believed or rather known that Christ wasn't even born around this time. I do not want my child to be spoon-fed blatant lies!

And yet, I cannot deny the fact that there is more to Christmas. My son's and along with it many a child's expression. The sense of wonder that will envelop my son like a warm blanket. His excitement. His joy of a world of magic, and peace and love and reindeer flying across the sky carrying a jolly fat man who traditionally despite his plump weight climbs through chimneys.

Sooner or later my son will discover and know the truth of the nonexistence of Father Christmas and another magical bubble will have burst. And reality will dawn upon him. This is some magic that I have never really been part of. Something that I have missed out in my past. Christmas has often missed its spark.

Something has been amiss despite or because of the frantic efforts of my family to create that kind of Christmas-like atmosphere. Yet its deeper noncommercial and joyous aspects have resonated within me on an intimate and personal level. I would listen to Bach's Weihnachtsoratorium or watch the monumental Jesus of Nazareth.

Most of those personal traditions or rituals have changed now. This year we are treeless, not because of any convictions, but perhaps mostly because of laziness (on my part). Or stinginess. Or busyness. Or again maybe because the Christmas mood is rather slow to set in.

Just recently I watched a renowned seasonal movie in an attempt to instill the Christmas spirit within, namely the good old-fashioned Capra's It's a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart. And yes, all the hype around this little jewel is more than deserved. It moved and thrilled me and revealed perhaps what may be the true face of Christmas under all the commercial glitter and confetti.

A time for peace, a time for new beginnings, a time for re-evaluation of what one has taken granted the whole year. And to hug those close to you. And to believe in all that is in cosmic harmony, the unseen world behind the seemingly trivial and insignificant. Merry Christmas to you and remember no man is a failure when you have friends! Or rather, no man or woman is a failure period.


JMyste said...

Arash, you always have a positive spin for everything. That is an admirable quality, though annoying for a cynic like myself.

Christmas is commercialized and it is also uses the lie of Santa to help the commercial. Additionally, Christian despise "pagans" in the most bigoted way. Most of them do not realize that Christmas is a holiday borrowed from the Pagans they detest.

A short, yet utterly brilliant, analysis can be found here:


I would like to now say something nice about Christmas. Hmmm. Still thinking. Oh, it promotes good feeling and fellowship amoung Christians and sinners a like.

Yeah! Christmas!


Vincent said...

I note you wrote this on 22nd December. I suspect that for stony hearted men like you, me and JMyste, the Christmas spirit has its brief flowering on Christmas Eve, probably not till the afternoon of that day. I wrote about it on mine.