The Crisis of Our Times

"Not by force of arms are civilizations held together, but by subtle threads of moral and intellectual principle." -Russell Kirk

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Goodbye Christmas for now, but hopefully not Forever 1/6/06

Epiphany has passed and Christmas is officially over. Today, I started to de-decorate my house--taking down the stockings, mistletoe, nutcrackers, holly and unwrapping my favorite Dali prints--that for the season masqueraded on the wall as wrapped gifts. The lights that adorn my house
have just begun to come down. I prefer a more traditional Christmas (as opposed to a Griswold Christmas—there’s nothing worse than a pop culture reference…lol) so it won't require much of my time to pack up those few lights. Last night was the last time they'll shine, but I did notice that my house was the only one in sight with lights on (or even hanging)--most of the block packed them up before the New Year and the remainder did so last week.

Stopping the Celebration of our Lord's Birth prematurely is nothing new of course, though in my Grandfather's time it would have been just enough cause to boycott an un-festive corner store or to send a few shame-on-you-nods toward the culprit across the street--of course today its more typical to get a puzzled look from someone when Epiphany is mentioned. The modern Christmas season starts on Black Friday and ends the day after Christmas--just
in time to celebrate Valentines on the Corporate Calendar that most follow now a days. Its not
that the world has been filled to the brim with atheists or those annoying hippy types. They’re few in number and most of them don’t even put the lights up or apathetically leave them hanging all year long. Christians are criminal in that respect, or at least those that label their selves by that name on occasion. The people who should guard that holiday the most and feel the greatest anger at losing it are just handing it over with out resistance—on occasion they do let them know that their smile is just a forced one. Look at America, a country filled with backwards Medievalists—as Europe seems to believe—and yet here we spend more time buying gifts than in praying and meditating on the greatest gift that has ever been given to humanity. I read in the newspaper, a few weeks before Christmas, about the controversy with Wal-Mart, and other stores, not wishing an explicit Merry Christmas to customers or allowing the Salvation Army in front of their doors. The articles showcased the reactions of the Christmas shoppers and most of them thought of it as some thing between horrible and distasteful. It didn’t stop them from shopping there though. They expressed their scorn and continued buying Polly Playthings and Tiny-Tot Torture Chambers that come with the combustible head G.I. JOE. They expressed that if they actually looked for a store that showed support for the Christian holiday, or at least not explicit scorn or apathy towards it, they’d be hard pressed to find one among the accessible corporate producers and store chains—far more effort than American fortitude could endure. There wouldn’t be anywhere to buy Dad that assault rifle he wanted or little Billy that computer game that looks so awesomely realistic—you know the one where you can see in minute detail the enemy’s brain splat on the Screen when you shoot him with the titanium loaded lazar launcher. I mean if we had to do that—to actually find a large accessible store like that--we couldn’t get anyone any real presents, we’d be left to giving books from the private bookshop or even worse giving to some Charitable Organization in our loved ones name. That sure doesn’t sound like Christmas.

Does it?

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