In CS Lewis’ beloved classic, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, the four Pevensie children discover the land of Narnia trapped under the icy rule of the evil witch Jadis who has made it so it is “always winter, but never Christmas.” Well, here we are New Years Eve on December, 31st, 2014, and while Christmas was only a week ago, it certainly feels that way. Between all the activities that we tend to have in December, to the stress of the holidays December seems to fly by the fastest of any other month in the calendar year. We’ve barely even taken out our new calendars and stores are already marking Christmas stuff down to 70%.
This is one of the many things that make January so dreary. All of a sudden the holidays are over and there aren’t any big parties or specials on TV, and all you have is nothing to look forward to is cold, dark nights. Add to it the simple realization that the year is over and we are getting older and most of our goals for the year have gone unmet and the bleakness of winter sets in. And don’t look now, my fellow members of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club, but those first Valentine cards are already hitting the store shelves!
Just imagine if you will, that the calendar just went from December to January with no special events. Imagine the streets void of light, no one stopping to smile and wish happy greetings to one another, no reason to buy gifts for others and no anticipation for the big day, All we would do is work, and go about our daily lives until the day we died with no moments in the year to mark special events. It would be a very dreary world in which it was “always winter and never Christmas”.’
Sure, we may grimace at some of the overplayed schmaltzy songs on the radio, or wince at the crass commercialism. We may complain about how much we spend, or growl in disgust at the long lines at stores. But unless you are a cross between Scrooge and the Grinch, it’s hard not to be excited about the holiday season.
Holidays give us something special. They give us a time to rest, to relax, to have a little fun, and to spend time with our family and friends. They give us the chance to smile more, and dream just a bit bigger and hope that we can be the people we always knew we could be.This isn’t true for only Christmas, but every holiday in the calendar. New Years, Easter, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, or whatever you choose to celebrate, these days bring so much joy to our lives. Even Valentine’s Day can bring a smile to your face if you have that special someone.
As Nathan Fillion’s character of mystery writer Richard Castle said in the episode “Secret Santa”, from season 5 of the TV series Castle when the character is telling his girlfriend/muse NYPD Detective Kate Beckett why he loves Christmas,
“Whether there is a Santa Claus or not, that’s not why I love Christmas. When I was a kid, no matter how bad things got, my mother always managed to make Christmas Eve magical…if she could do that in our tiny apartment when money was tight and we were alone, it gave me hope that things could get better. I love that feeling, that sense of hope. It’s crazy, you know, on the shortest, darkest days of the year, people of all faiths celebrate the light. Plus, who doesn’t love presents!”
Sounds pretty good to me!