Thursday, December 23, 2010

Making Christmas.

What does Christmas mean to me?

I’m not remotely religious. I disapprove of organised religion more than just about anything else. “Spirituality” as a whole only rates slightly higher because it’s a bit less dangerous. I’m quite outspoken about atheism, existentialism and similarly godless topics. So why did I tear up in the Muppet Christmas Carol when Robin as Tiny Tim prayed simply “God bless us, everyone”?

Because the actual sentiments involved, if you don’t just take him literally, aren’t in conflict with my own at all. They were those I’ve come to associate with Christmas as an Australian: spending time with family and friends. Appreciating what we have and who we share it with. Dickens’ line affirms that we are all blessed, all special, and not in the paradoxical sense in which we can’t all be special because “special” is in contrast with “normal”, but in the transitive sense in which we are special to other people. You don’t get much more existentialist than that. That’s what Christmas means to me: an affirmation of those bonds which define and elevate us.

Tim Minchin, one of my favourite artists, has a wonderful song along similar lines.

What does it mean to you?

1 comment:

  1. You know how I have heaps of trouble making decisions? And how I have lots of 'favourite' colours, foods, songs, movies etc... Well I have one favourite comedian - Tim Minchin. His cleverness and musical talent astounds and delights me!

    But what about Adam Hills? ...... I'm fence-sitting again ;-)