Christmas — Ego Te Absolvo

The bar is too high for a single day. No day should ever have such demanding intentions thrown upon it. Humans should never rely on any day, by its title, to change so much in their lives. Year after year, the crap shoot of daily existence demands we halt and pledge fidelity to an idea surrounding one day a year. No, it’s too much. Doomed at its inception in Christianity, the day of the return of the sun, not son, was better left to its pagan rituals and meaning, divorced of the syrupy incantations of Victorian writers setting impossible standards for the behavior of mere mortals with our stumbling about and thick minds conjuring up emotional connections that don’t exist in any world but that single day. Let’s just drop it and try to find meaning in every other day. Let’s leave this poor winter day alone to fend for itself. It has been, and will forever be, safer without us.

On this day, I vow to set the day free and let it return to its symbolism of pagan hope for the return on the sun. I will universalize the day and unfetter it from the chains of family expectation and conjured emotions of closeness and brotherhood. Let it be special only in its scientific significance. Be gone personal and collective rituals. Death to nostalgia with its icy fingers perpetually grasping at the throat of the moment to drag it into the past. Drop the shopping and gathering and the perpetual wasteland of how things once were and should be. I absolve myself of all previous thoughts, expectations, and sins. My self-directive is to hijack from the social milieu only the compassionate and fun bits so they can take residence in any other day of the year. I will have a hundred returns of the sun so that when the anointed day arrives, I have fulfilled all the expectations in advance and am psychologically and emotionally a free man, someone who, having engaged, is free to disengage and observe others flitting about to achieve what I have already done.

Mine is not so much a war on Christmas as giving absolution to the day, in a very Catholic sense. One day, I forgive you for all the broken promises and overwrought dreams. I forgive you for the expectations you can never meet. Where there was once an anvil weight on your shoulders, I grant you the power to toss the burden aside and leap with unfettered joy if you so desire. And should you desire to pull in your minutes in deep despair, there will be no judgement. Christmas day. You are forever free. Be whatever you want to be. And thanks for the extra minutes of sunshine.

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