Christmas Traditions…



Image used by permission of Wikimedia Commons, thanks to KLNMAX

Christmas Traditions…

The era after World War II
when “I’ll be home for Christmas” came true
People craved security
Best shown beneath the Christmas tree

War-worn dads took comfort in
their jobs, affording clatter and din
of toys beneath the Douglas fir:
endless bounty for him and her

The dolly really wet her diaper!
A toy gun for a future sniper
Pink for girls and blue for boys,
tearing paper off new toys

Thus was born a new tradition:
Lots more gifts! Spend with ambition!
As songs of Santa replaced carols
Jesus was lost, all was sterile

Once, one gift, just one – no more
Now Christmas spent at mall and store
This season is depressing; why?
Because the Christ child gets passed by

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

You know most people are burnt out on pseudo-Christmas by now. The constant post-Thanksgiving pop music. The who-can-buy-the-most-presents crap. Endless parades of ugly sweaters destined for the Goodwill shop.

The Longest Night, also called Blue Christmas, is a Christian service on the Solstice, this year Saturday. If you’re not feeling “holly jolly,” if you want to get a little Jesus back in the equation, check out a service. Lots of homeless folks, people who’ve lost loved ones, who’ve lost jobs… people who are simply soured on the commercialism, all get together and share stories.   It might be the best Christmas present you give yourself this year… and let me know how it turns out.

No prompt for this one.  Just sending it out into the ether(net) and hoping you don’t get “the Christmas Blues” like so many.  Peace, Amy

23 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Roger Green
    Dec 17, 2013 @ 22:08:09

    I’m actually cool with Santa, which is why this black Santa/white Santa FOX debacle resonated so much. Santa is magic, Jesus is the spirit.

    Reply

  2. brian miller
    Dec 17, 2013 @ 22:19:57

    oy. where to even begin…i struggle with the whole notion of christmas these days as families try to keep up with each other in what they spend pushing further and further so they dont feel poor or let their kids think they can’t…it goes way beyond christmas as well…where is christ in most anything? the american dream?

    i do like to go to the services with the guys at the shelter…they keep me humble and remind me where i could have so easily been several times in life…

    Reply

  3. kaykuala
    Dec 17, 2013 @ 22:32:13

    Blame it on commercialism. It’s no more the reason to survive but the urge to outdo the next guy in trappings of wealth. One up-manship will result in a frenzy of activities not all the time lawful and reasonable. In the case of Christmas it becomes far worse. It involves the young which impinged directly on emotions. And emotional reasons are invoked to increase sales through promotions and ads and not because of needs. Great write Amelita!

    Hank

    Reply

  4. claudia
    Dec 17, 2013 @ 23:05:46

    yes… it’s about shopping and buying and shopping and buying and cooking and shopping and buying…makes me sick sometimes… we always make rather small presents.. more as a symbol of how he gave himself to us… but it’s def. going against the flow…ugh… well penned amy…

    Reply

  5. barbarajone2013
    Dec 17, 2013 @ 23:07:01

    Advance Merry Christmas to all. Make your house as so beautiful by a attractive christmas decoration.

    Reply

  6. vandana
    Dec 17, 2013 @ 23:24:37

    how true. merry x mas

    Reply

  7. oldegg
    Dec 18, 2013 @ 00:09:44

    Now if the word Christmas was copyrighted and all commercial enterprises had to pay a dollar or more for it’s use all the churches would be rich enough to really make a difference to so many more lives. Just a thought.

    Reply

  8. McGuffy Ann
    Dec 18, 2013 @ 00:29:04

    For some it isn’t the commercialism, it is the memories, good or bad. Being alone when others have family. Watching children, having lost children. Yes, the meaning of Christmas was sold out long ago, but the memories of personal Christmas experiences are so deeply a part of us that they can haunt us.

    Reply

  9. http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com
    Dec 18, 2013 @ 02:33:37

    Well done, Amy – I think you’re right about when Christmas started to slide into a commercial bonanza. For the last couple of weeks every TV channel has been showing constant food programmes, with ever more eaborate menus, ads for expensive toys and perfumes and not a lot else. It even started in November. I posted my Advent poem, with similar sentiment, at the beginning of the month: http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/advent/

    Reply

  10. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Dec 18, 2013 @ 03:57:37

    How much Christmas have changed.. I have stopped celebrating myself almost altogether..

    And the buying and spending just make me depressed….

    Reply

  11. Brendan
    Dec 18, 2013 @ 04:26:07

    The American capitalist dream stretched from the end of WWII to about 1972, a straight upward line of middle class prosperity and growth. What punctured the balloon? Was it simply getting overextended? Or perhaps did we learn that you can’t buy all your heart lacks or hurts for at Christmas? You phrase the question well.

    Reply

  12. coalblack
    Dec 18, 2013 @ 05:43:13

    I stopped buying Christmas presents a decade ago. I just told everyone i wasn’t doing it anymore and not to buy for me, either. Now, sometimes I get something special for a particular friend, but other than that, I don’t. I hate the whole season.

    I did have a Christmas Moment, though. My snow globe/ music box on my desk was playing Silent Night, everything was quiet, and my dog was happily chewing his bone at my feet. It was perfect.

    One of the things I dislike most is how advertisers take Christmas music and change the lyrics for advertising. If Jesus came back today, he’d likely be found in the soup kitchen rather than the big box store. And FOX news would be denouncing him as a Marxist or something.

    Trivia: my favorite Christmas song is “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, especially if it’s sung slowly, almost bluesy, and my favorite Christmas hymn is O Holy Night. It gives me shivers.

    Reply

  13. Mary
    Dec 18, 2013 @ 06:41:41

    Merry Christmas, Amy! Christmas for me comes in the form of children’s Christmas programs & the babe lying in the manger, whose story never gets old. And family get-togethers! All else is secondary really.

    Reply

  14. whimsygizmo
    Dec 18, 2013 @ 17:29:13

    Oh, Amy. That last stanza! YES.
    Thank you so much for expressing this.
    And Merry, Merry Christmas, my poetical friend.

    Reply

  15. jae rose
    Dec 19, 2013 @ 06:07:01

    It can be soul destroying this time of year..often in shops I have a nagging urge to ask people why they are buying all the crap in their hands..or indeed what is Christmas

    Reply

  16. J Cosmo Newbery
    Dec 20, 2013 @ 21:51:16

    True and depressing. Even for an atheist. If you ever get the chance, track down Stan Freberg’s Green Christmas. Sums it up beautifully.

    Reply

  17. The Transcanada Poet
    Dec 30, 2013 @ 19:50:30

    a wealth of truth and a bounty of thought in this poem…. the world is a “more for me” society…

    Reply

  18. georgeplace2013DebiSwim
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 16:39:14

    Ah, Amy, so true. Thanks for sharing your poem!

    Reply

  19. kimnelsonwrites
    Jan 05, 2014 @ 15:28:21

    Have missed you. Hope you are well. Need to catch up.

    Lovingly,

    KIM

    Reply

  20. Andrew Kreider
    Jan 06, 2014 @ 19:55:56

    Beautifully told, Amy. And a fitting word in time for the Longest Night. Hoping your Christmas was full of meaning and joy! Peace and love for this new year.

    Reply

  21. charliezero1.wordpress.com
    Jan 07, 2014 @ 12:53:15

    The imagery on this poem of yours is brilliant and wow!!!

    I am back! please go check out my new blog poem. It’s a mind blowing piece. :)

    Reply

  22. Renee Espriu
    Jan 13, 2014 @ 19:54:56

    Hi Amy! Hope you and your family are well. I had a quiet Christmas this year which was a pleasant change from years past. Sorry not to have been at your site more often but 2013 found me exhausted due to a system change at work. I am hoping 2014 will be better and also hope it will be a good year for you and yours.

    Reply

  23. ihatepoetry
    Jan 15, 2014 @ 15:45:36

    Belated Merry Christmas to you and Lex and La Riley! Lovely poem. Happy New Year!

    Reply

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