Friday, December 05, 2008

Christmas Nostalgia

Shakespeare wrote about the "rembrance of things past."-- but The Teacher warns, "Do not say 'why were the old days better than these?' For it wise not to ask such questions." Ecc. 7:10. Florence King writes, "True nostalgia is an ephemeral composition of disjointed memories." This all sounds a little negative, to say the least.

Yet, I believe that nostalgia (more than commerce and greed) is what fuels Christmas. After watching several hours of Hallmark Christmas shows, I firmly agree. From those early days when Clement Moore wrote about the jolly man in the red suit smoking a pipe, humans have found wave upon wave of ways to celebrate this season.
Our memories of Christmases with relatives, of our first bike or doll under the tree, of those showy desserts that always show up only on Christmas tables, of the pictures in our minds of huge snowflakes falling all around brightly decorated house simply beg us to remember those good days. So, I am all for nostalgia and for the remembrances it fosters and for the joy it engenders. Hail to my "ephemeral composition" and Humbug to those who
would pour cold water on the celebration.

The recession could be the cold water--but Dollar Stores help ease the pain. And we all know, when we stop to shopping long enough to think, that just seeing joy in children's faces is enough reason to buy that much-desired toy.
I don't know how my parents afforded some of the things we got for Christmas, but I do remember the thrill of getting the bike and the doll. Yes, things are much more expensive now than they were 60 years ago; however, the law of averages might prove otherwise. As our income has increased so has the price of our toys. After trolling the aisles of
Toys R Us and barely escaping injury from crowded carts filled to the brim with toys of all kinds, I know there are many boys and girls who are going to have a merry Christmas. (Of course, I know there are many who won't, but have you contributed to the Angel Trees, and to Y.E.S. and the myraid forms of help to those who are needy?. I have.)

It is such an unusual way to celebrate the coming of our Savior, yet one remembers that He was the greatest Gift of all, and that he never failed to give something (even cold water) to those He touched.

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