Good evening, Netizens…
About 18 years ago, I was living in a remote mountain community above Springdale, connecting to the Internet over a pair of dial-up modems, and ran a BBS (bulletin board) that was delivered to the Internet via dial-up. I regularly posted messages, fables and tales about Thanksgiving and Christmas during the holidays into a series of Usenet newsgroups which were and still are, although somewhat defunct, hosted here in Spokane. Some of these stories received enough acceptance that they were published in several tiny periodicals, but for the most part, they were written explicitly for the sheer pleasure of writing. Although some of these storied reflections upon Thanksgiving and Christmas still persist in Google or Alta Vista’s huge repositories, for the most part they have been relegated to my web pages on http://www.kharma.net .
Last week I opened up my archives of various things I had written over the years, some of which was largely spent in solitude, and began trying to decide what, if anything, I could post to Community Comment, as it is hardly a place for fiction, as I have been told. Yet, upon several occasions, bits and pieces of stories I have written which clearly do not “fit” in a traditional news environment have fallen off the electronic platters of my hard disks and landed here, in Community Commebt, by mistake. Depending upon the will of the person who holds the feather duster used to dispense with off-topic messages, you might see some of the Christmas stories this year.
My Christmas shopping, for the most part, is already done, as I fail to see how special sale prices will ever determine my sense of giving at Christmas. I would sooner stand in a circle of like-minded people on a street corner discussing the real meaning of the Christmas Season than standing in line among the rumbling hordes in front of the malls waiting for a store to open. The exchange of ideas is, to my way of perspective, far more grand than fighting in the aisles of Walmart over trinkets and baubles.
Who among us will stand forth in the psycho-babble of Christmas buying, the trashy endless and often false advertising and speak quietly and firmly about the need to give to one another, with none of the falseness of the holiday season? My God, the advertisers have been celebrating Christmas since before Halloween this year! I fully expect, within my lifetime, to see Christmas ads everywhere by the middle of July, which I feel is wrong.
So, old and getting venerable as I might be, I will continue to write about the various times the REAL meaning of Christmas has touched me in that bittersweet way that sometimes makes people really consider what we have done with one of our most-important, cherished holidays of old. The advertising of Christmas-materialism is, to my way of thinking, is a pestilence, and should be exterminated. However, saying doesn’t make it so. Rather, like Don Quixote mounted on a stumbling old nag of a steed waving an antique sword at these imaginary windmills, I intend to do battle with them and slay them, one paragraph at a time. To further quote Cervantes, “With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless.”
Moreover, I encourage everyone of a like mind to write about their perceptions of Christmas, rather than participate in this annual folly called the Christmas Season. Take up your wooden swords, my friends, and let us proclaim Christmas a season of true meaning, one totally free of artifice, baseless opulence and greed. Let our words go forth from this day of infamous materialism; let our words more reflect the day a homeless mother traveling through Bethlehem gave birth in a manger, and how we each can contribute to a world of Peace.