Friday, December 22, 2006

The magic of Christmas

And peace and goodwill to all man (ie including woman).

This is supposed to be 'the season to be jolly', but do you see a lot of jolliness around?

Go into a supermarket carpark and you will find cars parked most indiscriminately. Shoppers do not bother to look for a space. They simply leave their cars where they think they should.

Getting in and out of a tight space in a supermarket is difficult enough at the best of times. When motorists choose to park in a non-designated parking area behind you, it is even more difficult to maneouvre out of it.

So I was stuck in a spot coming up to Christmas some years back because some moron was parked behind me. The woman driver next to me was trying to leave at about the same time. I indicated to her that she should go first as her path was not blocked by this other car.

She glared at me and through the window I could hear her say, "What? You can't reverse?"

I've lived with that for a few years thinking that my driving skills must be really 'rubbish'.

Well, a few weeks ago, on a rare occasion that we were at this same supermarket, my husband was similarly blocked in. He was fuming because due to the length of the car and the cars so tightly parked on either side, it would not have been possible to get out.

(If another car could be squeezed in there, surely the supermarket would have designated it a parking slot.)

Thankfully on this occasion the driver was waiting in the car and he moved it so that we could get out.

Up and down the country I imagine there are quite a few frayed nerves as queues seem to go forever at checkout counters and badly parked cars add to the misery. And all this for what?

Peace and goodwill to all?

It was even more galling for me to read of school teachers being chastised or even sacked for telling children (aged nine and ten) that Santa does not exist. (Articles here and here.)

Sacked for telling the truth?

Apparently some parents were aggrieved that these teachers have taken away the 'magic of Christmas'.

What is the 'magic of Christmas' when people are so rude to others? Why do parents wish to preserve a 'magic' that is based on a lie?

It strikes me as hyprocrisy that parents who dress up little girls as little women, and give very young children mobile phones and generally take their childhood away by letting them watch some unsavory soaps using even more unsavory language should turn around to accuse teachers of taking away the 'magic of Christmas'.

No wonder the young people in our country seem so lost and rootless. Grown-up enough to do some things (eg wear make-up), but no, don't tell them Santa does not exist? Which goes back to my point in a previous blog about rites of passage.

We, too, have been pondering the 'magic of Christmas' at church. It was wonderful attending the Advent service organized by my son's school. Some of the older boys put up sketches and my little boy was quite amused by the sketch where two characters kept shouting at 'the list of things to do', 'the Christmas tree', 'the presents', 'the food', etc that "We can't see Jesus!"

Why let the 'magic of Christmas' last only till one is eight or nine, or even eleven or twelve when even people like myself (whose age can be measured in 'decades' as my son pointed out) can still revel in the 'magic of Christmas' when we consider the miracle of 'God made man' at Christmas time?

We can still give gifts as the Wise Men bore gifts. We can still offer hospitality as the inn-keeper did. We can still have the lights as that special star shone.

Peace be with you this Christmas!

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