The Christmas Letter I Didn’t Send

Merry Christmas! Peace and Goodwill to All

The annual “Christmas Letter” morphed into an op ed piece, that I didn’t want to inflict on my family and friends. So  I will publish it here. This blog is under the radar: it won’t be read unless total strangers fall over it on their way to something better.

             I will say It’s nice to say Merry Christmas-again. . .. I confess that I don’t spend much time with “the news” in any form. Most of my attention focuses on books, what’s new in technology, and the latest gossip from the horse world.

Retreat into Bleak

The ban on “Christmas” sort of drifted over my head. The “Happy Holiday” signs in all the stores made little impression because I don’t show up at malls between November 17 and January 6th. I woke up to this bruhaha the second week in November at the library-of all places.

I was shut away in a back room with four others banging out our NaNoWriMo novel. One of the librarians shared the room. She was covering books with brown-bag paper, and decorating them with large gold star “stickers.”  She told us that she planned using these to create a large “book tree” for part of the library’s holiday decorations. I made some comment about using brightly colored paper. Much to my surprise, the librarian, in all seriousness, informed me that colored paper would make the decorations too exclusively Christian in tone. My internal response was a blend of surprise, irritation, and laughter.  I held my tongue and refrained from pointing out that stars were a major symbol of a Christian holiday.

This one size fits all business results in cloths that not only don’t fit, they lack both color and life.  The removal of tailoring from clothes and color from fabric results is among the first little devils raising its head in a totalitarian society. Especially those proclaiming “its for the good of the people.”

Returning to Color and Fit

Instead of creating decorations in beige, why not decorate inclusively:  the red and green of Christmas, the blue and silver of Hanukkah, the. green and black and white and red of Moslem festivals. Of you have to add the riot of colors used to celebrate the Hindu Diwali!

            I love the holiday season, with all the lights, the special coffee concoctions at Starbucks, the wrapping paper, the potlucks, the feelings of community, and generosity.  All of us need a break from the crazy hubbub of the first fifty-one and a half weeks. We need festivity. We need a space for mystery and wonder.

Were I king, I would mandate a holiday celebration lasting from December 24th until January 6th! To paraphrase William Blake, “you don’t know what enough is, until you’ve had too much. After twelve days of holiday, it will be sheer joy to return to work.

Wishing all of you lots of colorful clothes tailor made clothes, and a really good time wearing them.