A Discussion about Christmas from another point of view Part 1

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
December 18, 2016 12:00pm CST
I very seldom repeat past posts but I get so tired at this time of the year regarding "Merry Christmas", "Happy Holidays", "Happy Hanukkah" and "Happy Kwanzaa"--I personally don't care what you say as long as this time of the year means something to you for whatever reason. This is a 3 part series that I wrote for a paper many years ago--hope you enjoy reading it again or reading it for the first time! ******************************************************************** I LOVE Christmas and have since the days stores didn't decorate for the holiday until Thanksgiving weekend when Santa appeared magically all over town and the Salvation Army went out in force and didn't take credit cards and the men stood by their big, black kettles ringing bells. It was back in the days when there were Christmas, not holiday, trees and people gleefully yelled "Merry Christmas", not "Happy Holidays". I remember 75 years ago sneaking out to my front yard where we had a tall, huge fir tree and decorating it with balls and silver strips and my mother lamenting, & quote; "What will the neighbors think?" and I didn't care. We lived on Bogart Avenue, between Lydig and Pelham Parkway, the dividing line between the Sharks and the Jets--for those who don't get the reference it separated the Jews from the Italians and our block was made up of both. I didn't think of it as a religious holiday but as a time for peace towards all men. Way back then--in the ice age--you didn't hear songs like "Jingle Bells" until Thanksgiving weekend, certainly not in October as a theme song for a cruise line. The celebration of the Christmas feeling started when you heard Nat King Cole sing, "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..." from The Christmas Song or Judy Garland's sweet, sad voice sang "Have Yourself a Very Merry Christmas" and, of course, wherever you went you heard Der Bingle (Bing Crosby) sing "White Christmas". Christmas wasn't a religious time for a Jewish boy in New York but a time of cold weather, snow flurries, people running here to there with a smile on their face and everyone carrying wrapped packages with bows and ribbons. Of course I had an unfair advantage over my Italian friends because I, also, got to celebrate Hanukkah where children were given geldt (money) and went to the houses (apartments) of their grandparents who had immigrated from Russia and England and were surrounded by very large families and ate and ate and ate, because that is what Jews did on holidays, though I was to learn so did Greeks, Italians, Filipinos, Germans, etc. Again, it wasn't the religion of the holiday that attracted me to attend Christmas midnight mass at St. Patrick's cathedral but the pageantry, the voices of the choir ringing out and the sound of the Latin language, again this was many years ago, echoing through the cathedral. I must confess--hey, it's a Catholic church--that years later, in the 60s, Ronnie, Joe and I use to go for 'camp' reasons--to see Cardinal Spellman all dressed up in his finery, his red robes looking like a gown and, we thought, in all probability, hiding his red, ruby slippers. None of this is meant, or said, in disrespect of the Christmas holiday and its true meaning but looking at an aspect of it that was open to all children who had imagination and loved to see their world almost become magical for 4 weeks--not like now where by the time the holiday comes around you are ready to scream if you hear one more Christmas song because you have been hearing them since August when you started getting the catalogs and the stores were decorated with wreaths and holly even before Halloween. NEXT, PART 2, A MAGICAL TIME/PLACE NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN AND SHOULD BE EXPERIENCED BY EVERYONE AT LEAST ONCE--A MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS! ***************************************************************** "With our thoughts we make the world." Buddha 563-483 BC Indian Religious Teacher
I created this video with the YouTube Slideshow Creator (https://www.youtube.com/upload)
9 people like this
11 responses
@GardenGerty (100427)
• United States
18 Dec 16
I love your memories and your childlike perspective. I loved my grandparent's trees, often cut from a field, and not decorator and picture perfect but lovely with enthusiasm and joy.
3 people like this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
18 Dec 16
More memories to come to share! :O) I love this time of the year!
@jaboUK (54507)
• United Kingdom
18 Dec 16
A lovely post Martin, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I agree 100% that people start decorating for Christmas far too early. I've only just put up my tree - when I was a child we didn't put it up until Christmas Eve.
1 person likes this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
18 Dec 16
Well I got all of my Santa cookies baked today--he better show--I was such a good boy this year!!
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (54507)
• United Kingdom
19 Dec 16
@GreatMartin I've got a limerick written about what I want from Santa - I'll put it up later in the week
1 person likes this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
19 Dec 16
@jaboUK I'm looking forward to it but remember you still have a week where you have to be a 'good' girl!
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Dec 16
Great post! Well worth repeating! I was in your neck of the woods last night!
1 person likes this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
21 Dec 16
Next time you are coming this way let me know--I love meeting people who post on the Internet on sites such as Mylot!!
• United States
22 Dec 16
@GreatMartin I was just saying to another, we Floridians should all get together at one location
2 Jan 17
you do make it sound quite magical! of course, i still love it. and i don't mind seeing the stuff in the stores a little early. and i love the music. so i'm fine if it starts a little before thanksgiving.
1 person likes this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
3 Jan 17
I've always loved this time of the year!
1 person likes this
@kevinakash (1947)
• Sri Lanka
19 Dec 16
although i don't personally celebrate it i have many friends that celebrate it. so i help them in many aspects. i enjoy Christmas carols. Except all these the climate is very nice that intensifies the true meaning of Christmas.
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• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
21 Dec 16
For people like me it isn't celebrating a religion but life--as you will see in the rest of the series.:O)
19 Dec 16
Christmas is christmas ;)
1 person likes this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
19 Dec 16
Many people have many different definitions!!
@amadeo (67748)
• United States
18 Dec 16
we do not have a tree any more.just candles in the window.Where is Elton.LOL Very nice article as you always do a fine job in writing.Take care.Love ya.Fredo
1 person likes this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
18 Dec 16
Hope you and Mike have a great Christmas--don't forget to tell Santa to stop by!
@garymarsh6 (14264)
• United Kingdom
18 Dec 16
We were very fortunate to live in such uncommercial times. Christmas was a magical time and we try to emulate that today but as you rightly say by time December comes we are sick to the back teeth of hearing Christmas songs in shops and malls. You have thanksgiving in the USA which to me would start the preparations for Christmas. ( Well in my UK mind that is) Have a great whatever you are celebrating. I loved this article.
1 person likes this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
18 Dec 16
I celebrate it all and love every minute but St. Nick didn't visit me so I am keeping an eye out for him!!
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (109600)
• United States
18 Dec 16
Christmas has always had meaning for me. Cannot beat being with family and friends, giving help to those less fortunate, and attending Christmas Eve services that reinforce the meaning of the holiday. The fact that the celebration of Christmas brings a bit of brightness into the lives of those who do not celebrate this holiday is a good thing, indeed.
1 person likes this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
18 Dec 16
Even in 85 degrees it is the best time of year!!
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (118607)
• Boise, Idaho
19 Dec 16
I sure don't feel Christmas is a religious holiday. I am spiritual but not the least bit religious. I think we should all respect others traditions and be at peace with what is going on. Live and let live. Ghee! What a concept.
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
19 Dec 16
More to come on that! Part 2 & 3
1 person likes this
@PatZAnthony (12772)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
23 Dec 16
You have really lived an interesting live and have so many interesting stories to share.