Sunday, December 25, 2011
There is a merry tinkle about Christmas that makes it a very very delightful occasion. When I was kid, I was enamored with the idea of a fat old man, white as snow, sledging his way from the North Pole, where he is believed to have a secret gift factory. I’ve forever imagined Santa’s red coattails fluttering as his sledge speeds up.
And his beard, flowing white, not fox orange, dancing in the wind.
I was unable to fathom how such a fat man could slide in through a narrow chimney. But I loved the idea. Who does not love beautiful myths?
Christmas has always been about snow. And old Santa’s reindeer with those weird antlers. It is that time of the year when you don stocking caps and eat cakes and sing carols. To humankind! Though commercialized by sinister market wolves now, Christmas still has a feel-good factor that is irrespective of your faith-meter: you may be religious, secular or completely godless. I've hardly known a bloke who does not like the distilled spirit of goodness, that Christmas is.
For some strange reason Christmas makes people smile a lot, for it engulfs the whole world in a congenial conspiracy. Suddenly the irrational becomes rational. An unwed mother gives birth to a baby. The unpalatable becomes palatable as north star appears. The unreal welds into the real. Three wise men show up. Snow falls. Lore is fact. Hearts hammer. A lone bell begins to tintinnabulate. People re-meet.
I am culturally Muslim and spiritually liberal. I like Christmas for all its sweet secure spirit. I want a million coniferous trees to grow. The lights to glow. The bells to toll. The cakes to bake. The hymns to pop.
The love to spread.
We -- irrespective of our color and belief system – are wired to celebrate the good and the beautiful.