Being amid the holidays, nostalgia always finds its place in my psyche. Listening to Beach Boys Christmas album in November, watching my kids’ excitement about Christmas movies, to whatever craziness comes – it’s always blasts us into that state of glee (weeee).
This childlike state of being is what pushes the holiday spirit to the forefront of this time of year. Why do we “adults” stop experiencing it? Don’t get me wrong, I understand that we all get a taste of this joy, but it’s rarely fully embraced (let’s get real). We get to caught up in the hustle and bustle that comes with the holidays.
Do you we want to have that much needed leisure time? Can we as a culture too wound up with that consumeristic spirt that it’s impossible for us now to just sit, wait and be still (Advent hellooo)?
Here is the thing. I think we need to reach back to our ancestors and start letting our holidays be more abundant. I mean, come on! One day of Christmas if you’re lucky (which seems to be the trend with any type of holiday, really). Religion can teach us a thing or two on how to celebrate these special days of year.
Look at the Christian religion. Regardless of how you feel about Christmas, the Christians celebrated this thing 12 days in a row! The Twelvetide, goes from 25 December to 5 January (or 6th depending on your tradition). That’s not the only holiday that last just more than a day from ancient religions. You have Saturnalia, Eleusinian Mysteries, Yule, Wepet Renpet, Sukkot – all are celebrated for days plural. It just seems like to celebrate something you find important; a day just doesn’t really cut it.
Puerto Rico takes this even further. La Navidad lasts around 45 days! Starting right after Thanksgiving Day through mid-January. Now, the ones who get to celebrate this holiday fully without being caught up in the day-to-day grind is most likely the minority.
This might be the underlying issue with how our “work-life” negatively impacts a healthy way of living. Majority of Americans-and the rest of the globe- are feeling the same type of attitude when it comes to the work week.
We can look at all the factors that play a role in why, in our current economic situation globally, we all are feeling trapped and unsatisfied. Western civilization has over emphasized the competitive spirit into a form of slavery (maybe a stretch but still). If we do not work those hours, we probably would lose our jobs and not get paid.
Hyper Capitalism is not helping anybody here, people! We are stuck in the consumerism rat race, and we need to take steps to break free. Yeah, a little idealistic, sure. But all ideas stem from some type of truth that needs to be lived out or else the captives remain captives.
What’s the solution? Well, I don’t know for sure–but I do know that just doing small, tiny itty-bitty steps do help tremendously in breaking free of this unhealthy rate race. It can be writing blogs (like yours truly), it can be serving others in a way that doesn’t benefit the machine but truly brings life to the one its serving.
Be creative! Please don’t think I am selling fame and fortune here. It’s not about that at all. Also, working hard and living into the reality of truly believing in your work is a great thing! I am not trying to go all quasi-socialist on you (though it has its benefits).
In essence, it’s about living out a life of experimentation and creativity not of stagnant habits. Especially for our holidays! Don’t get me wrong, I understand we must put the grub on those platters! All I am trying to point out is if we keep on going at the pace we are going, our bellies might be full, but everything else is going to be lacking in substance.
We cannot be diluted by the propaganda of the Empire (Institutional control, aka Babylon). We are not pawns! We are all Kings and Queens (Rev. 1:6) participating with the Christ-King to bring about a life of meaning, not a mundane existence. Let us step into the unknown and really see where this life of meaning can lead us…
All of this really points to numerous amounts of diverse traditions from ancient times that are still bringing about new ways of life in this holiday season. See, when we discover that the old ways were new once in time, we discover that the old ways always can become the new ways if we allow them to be renewed. Let us embrace a more robust holiday within our current traditions and break free from the stale celebratory spirit!