Clergyfolk hate December. I mean, of course, those clergy who are in the gravitational field created Christmas. We hate it not in a theological sense but in a personal sense, because the pleasure the season brings are often denied us.
Come to think, lots of people work extra hard at this season, and some of that effort goes to working at being merry. We are told this is the season we should savor and appreciate things, but that itself takes effort and planning. Frankly, I have already given up trying.
Which may be the best path, actually. "Trying" creates work. My spiritual project this Yuletide is not to try and simply accept what comes my way and not resent what does not meet my expectations.
This too is a sort of work, but instead of looking to Yuletide to meet my spiritual desires, I ponder my desires themselves.
I want faith - some fragment of the childhood belief that the world was enchanted. Einstein supposedly said that either nothing is miraculous or everything is. Faith is being open to the second possibility.
I want hope - some confidence that the life I have and that of others has some value that transcends this moment and even this life. Hope is faith in tomorrow as well as today.
I want love - which is not the Hallmark Channel Christmas movie love. It is some sense that our life is cherished by others. Love is hope incarnate.
I want joy - which like love is not a sensation so much as a pervasive gratitude that can be felt physically as well as known mentally. Joy is love incarnate.
These can show up anywhere, not just in elves or trees or carols. I think the purpose of Christmas is not to tell us how enchanted and hopeful and lovable and joyful Christmas is, but how enchanted, how hopeful, now lovable, how joyful, life itself is or can be. If we notice.
I'm getting all verklempt. Discuss.