Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Spirits of this holiday

Amid the hustle and bustle of the hectic holiday season I have neglected to grasp the true meaning and spirit of the season. It has been coming for years. Ever since I discovered that no fat white man was sauntering down our make believe chimney at 35th and Illinois, I have become more and more disallusioned with the mass marketing blitz that has become the modern day Christmas. In my office alone we have had no less than 4 pitch-in lunches, a secret santa gift exchange, a gift collection for our boss, a collection for the security gaurd, and a collection for the lady who cleans our bathrooms. Finally, tomorrow evening, as a group we are going out to dinner. I do not love these people that much!! I have bought gifts for children I have never met and I have donated money for food for people I will never see. Meanwhile, those that I hold closest to my heart have made long extensive lists of Christmas wishes. What exactly do Bratz dolls and Madden football video games have to do with the birth of Christ! Somehow we have all gotten way, way off track. Dont get me wrong, I am no scrooge. I will fight the crowds at Wal-mart and stand patiently in line at Toys R Us and all of the children in my circle will get exactly what they asked for, but as thinking rationale adults we owe it to ourselves to try and make some sense out of this.

Today I became very emotional when my local R&B station played Silent Night by the Temptations for the 268th time. I hear that song all the time, but today it took me back to my Grandmother cooking away in the kitchen and singing along in that, very off key but more beatiful than a chorus of angels, way. I remember that she kept a running list on the kitchen table and when she would remember one more thing she needed from the store she would jot it down. I remember her rushing to the front door every few minutes, looking up and down the street expectantly. Company was coming in from Kentucky and they would be here any time. Uncle Paul, Aunt Rose, and all the cousins would sleep wherever there was a spot on the couch. My grandmother lived in a 4 room house with a basement. Strangely, there was always room. She cleaned rich folks houses during the day and swept floors at the bank at night. However, she always had gifts for everyone and more food than we could all eat. And believe me, we tried. It was all about family for my grandmother. She didnt concern herself with the the materialistic trappings of the holiday. There was never concern that her house wasn't big enough or her dishes shiny enough or if her television was new enough. We had what we had and we did the best with what we had. What was important to momma was that the family was together. One particular Christmas Eve Uncle Paul, standing more than 6ft 5in tall and weighing in at more than 300 pounds, stood in the middle of mommas modest living room and sang silent night, holy night with no music. A cappella. Just big Uncle Paul, with the remains of his cigar hanging from his mouth, natty tweed hat on his head, and the words resonating from the depths of his heart, singing and signaling that all is calm and all is bright.

Let us remember the true importance of this holiday.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that WHOMSOEVER believes in him, shall not perish but have eternal life.

My grandmother passed away this past spring. This is my first holiday season without her and it has been and continues to be rough, but this posting is therepy. I thank God today for demonstrating for all of us the truest meaning of Love and family and the reason for this season.

May you find and retain Peace and Love this holiday season,
Merry Christmas
Happy Kwanzaa


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