Joyous Christmas to You

It’s a white Christmas in Cincinitucky. Or at least there’s snow on the ground in my neighborhood. White Christmas is a fairly rare occurrence in Cincinnati.

Last night it looked like it was frosting the neighborhood with thick white icing.  The icing snow didn’t stick – too much blowing last night. But there is still snow on the ground. There will be another morning with icing snow to look forward to. It’s the only snow I like. The snow that makes it all look like a postcard.

If the universe was properly organized snow would ALWAYS ice everything like cake. But no. Conditions have to be perfect. And they rarely are.

I thought it was nice though that the Texas snow was an icing snow. It felt so much more like a gift, rather than a problem.

I was born in Puerto Rico and didn’t see snow until we moved to the States when I was 12. My parents insisted that I was much better off having not seen snow, having grown up in Wisconsin and Indiana respectively. But a child always wants what it can’t have. And I thought I was deprived.

Anyway, when I was 12, my father got transferred to Illinois and we moved to the US 2 days after the blizzard of 77. It was cold and there was snow. I was excited to see it.

We arrived into O’hare and all the snow was black. It was horrid. It was dark and cold and the snow was black. And then I got a stomach flu on the drive to Bloomington. So my father pulled over 3 times for me to throw up into dirty snow banks.

I did not enjoy that winter.

The following winter we moved to Connecticut. That was where I saw the snow that I had always dreamed of for the first time. The snow that you see in postcards. It was heavy white wet snow that iced everything in perfect white downiness.

My mother explained to me how snow was different depending on the current temp, the previous temp and wind. I became a connoisseur of snow for a while. Fascinated by it’s varying textures and what produced them. The pinnacle for me will always be the icing. But a hoar frost is a lovely fragile second, even if it’s not technically snow.

College took away all the fascination. There is something about having to trudge a mile to class in the cold, on icy/snowy sidewalks that removes the allure.

 

Capitalism is the Heart of Christmas

It’s not God.  It’s not Jesus. It’s Money.

And that’s not a horrific thing.  It’s an annoying thing if, like me, you dislike crowds and don’t particularly participate in Christmas.

But this is the season that feeds the Western Economy.  Indeed, because of globalisation, it feeds the world economy.  It’s the engine of spending that employs most of us in one way or another.

I find this idea that there is a war on Christmas amusing.  The strongest power in the world is firmly entrenched in the idea of Christmas.  The power of money.  Christmas isn’t going anywhere.

Even today, most Christians have melded the holiness of the day with decorating, buying, cooking and commenting on people who say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas.

But, sadly for those who still think it’s about religion, Money is all about leveraging for more money.  And so it’s inclusive.  It wants there to a gift giving Hanukkah and it wants Kwanza to be about gifts as well.

Mark my word – it wants Mawlid to be about gift giving too.   Someone, somewhere is working on a way to change a festival for Mohammed’s Birthday into a retail bonanza.  Christmas used to be a festival holiday too.  Now it’s a season of shopping.

AND I bet if they pull it off, the division between Muslims who celebrate Mawlid and those who don’t will disappear.  Because big business always trumps religion.  ESPECIALLY if it can somehow leverage religion into it’s drumbeat.

100 years from now imagine the incredible booming economy that would exist if we could add in a gift exchange for 2 billion Muslims!   Imagine if you gave it a nice unique set of colors and symbols that they would display each year, creating entire industries out of decorating for the holiday.   Almost everyone benefits when the economy is booming.