In this season of 'magic', amid all the colored lights and tinsel and trappings, I ask myself, why do we do this? Why do we subject ourselves to the stress and nonsense? Why do we let ourselves be sucked into 'celebrating', now starting somewhere around when we hand out the last piece of Halloween candy? Why does the Hallmark Channel broadcast the same sappy movies over and over again ad nauseam? And, at the same time, I find myself watching some of them and find my eyes tearing up. But I find it difficult to be in a celebratory mood when I think of these young innocent victims.
Some people celebrate the winter solstice. Some celebrate Christmas in a very religious way while others celebrate it in a very non-religious way. Some celebrate Hanukkah. Others celebrate Kwanzaa. And Festivus provides an alternative, as a way to rebel against the pressures and commercialism which runs rampant.
I can remember some (maybe it was only one?) Christmas mornings in that flat. I remember my sister Linda writing my letter to Santa because I couldn't make the squiggle loops look like real writing. I remember three puppets lined up under the tree in the corner: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck. I remember a brightly painted metal Ferris Wheel that I had wanted so badly. I remember my brother Raymond, standing at the dining room table eating an orange. We always got an orange in our stockings. And I remember my father finding a lump of coal in his stocking.
It was an age of innocence and magic. But it lasted way too short a time. Before long we get swallowed up in the 'real world'.
The lyrics to The Illogical Song come to my mind:
So I'm hoping this post is a reminder of why we do it. And to remember the innocence that was cut short in such a tragic and horrible way. To the parents and families and friends and children, my heart goes out. I cannot fathom the depth of grief to a parent when they have to say goodbye to a child. Maybe for me this post is a way to overcome the melancholy I feel. A remembrance to the children and a reminder of what was lost. And I will continue to do it year after year. To remember.