When I was younger, the entire season of Christmas was full of twinkly magic. Seriously, I remember feeling this warmth and lightness in my heart for at least a week or two before Christmas. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but when I reached a certain age- probably 16 or 17- I remember being aghast that the warm fuzzies were no longer with me.
Now, I’m sad to admit, I can understand why some people hate the holidays. I don’t even have to deal with a horrible family dynamic or extensive travel, but I still get stressed out by the shopping, coordinating of diva schedules, etc.
But, it seems practically insane to be irritated by what is essentially a feast with the people that I love the most.
So what’s the prob, Bob?
Tonight I was watching this Amazon Prime documentary The Science of Fasting. Yep, this is how I spend my evenings these days. It was a little bit too big-Pharma-conspiracy-theorist for my taste, but it did have some pretty compelling evidence that fasting can be healing and restorative. Anyway, it made me think about how fasting was a given in the Biblical times. And that made me think about how feasting was not simply tolerated in the Old Testament law, but required! So that makes me think that both fasting and feasting are spiritually healthy.
And THAT made me think about something I read in this book Sacred Rhythms. It was actually talking about Sabbath, and how important it was to have rhythms in your life of work and rest. Truth! 🙌 It’s both mentally and physically straining to work constantly, but for me resting when I have nothing to rest from is actually the most straining of all. They’re best when they go together- work can be a delicious challenge if I’m coming from happy rest, and rest is sweet when I’ve had a productive work week.
So, bringing this wild thought train back to feasting, fasting, and the holiday blues…
I think at least one reason why the holidays, Christmas especially, don’t seem special anymore is because they’re not special anymore. We are surrounded by, or 3 min and $3 away from, large quantities of palpable food pretty much all the time, and we already immediately buy anything and everything that we want.
We’ve made Christmas into a Santa-themed continuation of our already feast-y lifestyles .
I realize this is probably coming out pretty dour, but I don’t mean it to be. This is more of a reflection on how my year-long indulgences can ultimately be joy-zapping. I wasn’t made to indulge. I was made to work, sacrifice, give, etc.
So…. Me thinks I need to take this rhythms/seasons ideer more seriously, oui? Maybe if I had the Christmas spirit of sacrificial giving year around, the Christmas feasts would fit perfectly into that rhythm. TBD if the twinkle magic will also return. A gal can dream! 😴🌠😍
Feliz Navidad! 🎅
— EDITORIAL NOTES —
Please note that I recognize that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ. I hope that this post did not make anyone think otherwise. But whether or not you are a Christian, Christmas traditionally also involves a celebratory feast. And it is the lack of joy in that feast that got me thinking about feasts generally and their purpose and why I and many others can be total jerks about what are supposed to be joyous events! Thank you for your understanding, and God bless America.