We’re into January now, and so out of Christmas, which means everyone can go back to their regularly scheduled grump.
Except: Wait. Some peoples in this world, they will celebrate Christmas today. Others, tomorrow. Still others celebrated long before December 25.
The French and the Hungarians went to Christmas commencing December 6. In Italy, they non-stop Christmas from December 8 to January 6. In Cuba, Christmas begins in October.
Meanwhile, there doesn’t necessarily have to be any Jesus, or Santa, or even an Island Of Misfit Toys, in the Christmas. We know this from the Jewish people, who get lit in the miracle oil of Hanukkah. Then there’s Muharram, which commemorates Muhammad’s trek from Mecca to Medina. Also, the winter solstice, where all celebrate the darkest day of the year. Because, as everyone knows, you have to be in darkness to see the light.
From this, we can begin to apprehend that it always, in all of the days, and all and everywhere, wants to be Christmas.
[CN&R Editor at Large] Melissa Daugherty and I have understood this for some time, but felt like we had to stay in the closet. But now: We are out and proud. Some people, they go on about “permanent revolution.” But that is boring. What is really needed is permanent Christmas.
For, there are two wisdoms. The first, which Melissa writes about, is that life is precious, and fleeting—as my friend Jeffrey Miller, long dead, once poemed: “the first one’s free/you just get one”—and so you should really appreciate it, your life, and everyone else’s, while you can. The second is that which is nice and, also, magic. And. That. Is Christmas.
The jesus, the santa, the solstice, the ever-burning oil, even the island of misfit toys, these are just symbols, metaphors, representations—seeing through a glass, darkly—of the nice, the magic.
Kate Rusby sings a song called “I Am Christmas.” With this refrain: I am Christmas / let me in
Try it. Every day. Open. To Christmas. The nice. The magic. All. And everywhere. Till the day. You are. No more.
“I am Christmas. Let me in.”
The author, a former CN&R staff writer, is a Paradise resident who stayed on the Ridge throughout the Camp Fire and its aftermath.