a day cluttered with the piles of once-perfected wrapping paper, the nestling notes of christmas music in the walls, the small droplets of saliva collected in the bottom of used wine glasses.
a day characterized by the absent scent of what-used-to-be real pine needles and feasts of socially withdrawn bites of turkey.
a day of meaning that now stands meaningless, had we removed the gifts meant for exchange (whether with one another or back to it's original owner - the store), the receipts boasting triple digits, and the panic stricken mall visits characterized by both terror and excitement.
a time of year when less and less of us get to experience any actual emotion of holiday, and the feasting and the familying and the fellowship gets compacted into one meager day. a time of year where our rush to experience any feeling of peace and holiday gets counteracted by our want to experience christmas. the more we want "christmas", the more we shop; the more we shop, the less employees and shoppers alike get to experience any actual moments of tranquility. we as a society have successful accomplished reducing a holiday devoted to silence and joy to a mere 24-hour hallucination of repose. there has been a silent divorce from christmas and peace, to accompany the less-than-silent divorce between religion and the holiday.
not saying that i have any distaste for giving or receiving small parcels, small physical forms of nonphysical love. and i should certainly note that i'm also not complaining about the overuse of kitchen ovens and tastebuds in our 21st century tradition of the season. i'm just fulfilling my duties to the global blogosphere and cyber-scripting one of our many societal ironies.
but our stuffing has done its duty and stuffed. our christmas trees will soon be disassembled and returned to their dusty-lidded boxes. we pack up our angel-faced ornaments, remove our subliminally competitive christmas lights, and digest our hams and our turkeys. we scrub the walls of distantly-related familial germs and leftover christmas music, and cleanse ourselves of christmas spirit. our artificial moments of peace in plastic bags have come and gone, and will lay in the recycling bin for yet another year.
"gee, do they still make wooden christmas trees?" - linus