November 24, 2008
In The Spirit Of The Season.
It is inevitable; the Christmas holidays are here. They start earlier and earlier each year.
When I was a child in Eastern Europe, the Christmas season started the week of the 24th of December. When I was growing up in Sweden, the holidays began with the celebration of the "First Advent", a religious observance four Sundays before Christmas Eve. Later, while living in the US, I realized that the holidays started with Thanksgiving celebration in the end of November.
Today, already the first week of November there are Christmas decorations put up in the stores. I recall how odd it was just a few years back, if I purchased new Christmas ornaments already in beginning of December or even bought some of the presents. Now I almost feel as though I am running out of time if I do not start in November with all the purchases.
Yes the commercialism has taken over the holidays somewhat. Nevertheless, in some way, it makes the gloomy autumn a bit more cheerful and makes the wonderful winter holidays last a bit longer.
If one doesn’t fall for all the “acquisition mania” and just relaxes and allows one self to be swept away by the spirit of the season, it can be pleasurable indeed. It doesn’t cost anything to just take a walk through the city in a good company and gaze at all the Christmas lights and decorations. It is a very inexpensive joy to lit candles and to curl up with some good old fashioned Christmas music and a glass of hot spicy red vine, while writing Christmas cards. Or perhaps one can watch old Christmas classics with a cup of hot chocolate beside a crackling fire for almost no money at all.
Well, call me romantic and corny. Risking to sound "oh so very cliché", the truth still remains; the best in life is indeed free.