Weekly musings on the arts and current events.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Christmas Visitor

It's not my holiday, but I've always enjoyed it. I actually like the bustle of Christmas shopping, especially when there are Salvation Army Santas ringing their bells. At school in the fifties, carols were part of our curriculum and I remember the words to them all. Once my class went caroling near my house where homes were lavishly adorned with lights, statuettes, and even a creche scene in a garage with live animals. The holiday movies are a treat, especially It's a Wonderful Life and George C. Scott's Ebenezer Scrooge. And Handel's Messiah never ceases to surprise me with its charm and grandeur.

As long as I can remember, the faithful have deplored the demise of spirituality at Christmastime. The truth is that this holiday, which before Dickens was just an occasion for drunkeness and violence, is more spiritual than ever. For those of us who find inspiration in aesthetics, Christmas is the world's best blend of art and faith. And if we do not believe in a saviour, we can find holiness in childhood, which is what Christmas honors for us all.

Granduca Madonna by Raphael, 1504. Click on the picture for a closer look.


DUTA said...

Although Christmas is not my holiday, I find myself 'deep' in it due to my blog followers. I read their stuff, and so I get to know a lot about : Christmas trees, gifts, ornaments, decorations, Christmas poems etc..

I participate in all this by leaving my comments. It's reciprocal. When I posted about Yom Kippur I got many lovely comments showing genuine interest in the Holy Day and in the jewish tradition.

John Gaynor said...

I come from a mixed background. My maternal grandfather was Jewish (non-practicing), my maternal grandmother was Lutheran (also non-practicing) and my father's side were Roman Catholic, in various stages of lapsed-ness. The amusing thing is that every year, the cards from my father's side of the family are of the "Happy Holidays" variety (or, more often, a picture of the kids), while the Jews invariably send actual Christmas cards, complete with virgin, child and the whole nine yards.

So, in the spirt of Christmas, I wish you a belated Happy Chanukah. Lachiem!

Paula Slade said...

I too love the hustle and bustle, decorations and music for this time of year. I do believe, that each year, even though it's just a day or two, it brings the whole world a bit closer together in caring, sharing and peace - so indeed it is very spiritual.

dragonfly said...

I love this post. You are right about the spirituality- the atmosphere of celebration, charity and love is quite powerful. Though I'm not particularly religeous, I'm captured by the season. When describing Santa to my children when they were young, I told them that Santa is the spirit of Christmas- then followed up with the spirit of Christmas is inside all of us.

Anonymous said...

I will not concur on it. I assume nice post. Expressly the title attracted me to study the sound story.

Anonymous said...

Good fill someone in on and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you for your information.