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4 December 2003, 00:00

It’s getting cold outside.

Christmas is coming. Now that we’ve killed and devoured a turkey in honor of what we are thankful for, now we need to max out our credit cards to honor the lord’s birthday.

This is, after all, the most sacred and holiest of holidays – for most of the world. Kwanza, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Solstice, etc. etc. I’m a wassailing a happy tune during the silly season, although I do tend to bounce from bah humbug to happyhappy joyjoy. I don’t have a lord to honor, a birthday to remember, oil to honor with fried potatoes, or a pilgrimage to make. Hell, I don’t even have crops that I pray to the wood sprites for, to make them fruitful. I eat a good meal, give the dogs a hug, crawl up in the bed and watch a little TV. I don’t even find getting stinking drunk, embarassing myself in front of strangers, and vomiting in the parking lot on my new velvet high heels appealing.

Christmas time is here and it has been evident ever since I saw one of Santa’s helpers in the mall in a mini skirt squirting passers-by with foul smelling perfume. And this year, usual Christmas Crass Commercialism has been given the blessings of the president because of the recent terrorism tragedy. Joy. Show your patriotism, and buy a Playstation. Sales and cash registers are going non stop and the stores are still filled to the brim with throngs of shoppers and holiday hordes. Consumerism for your country. What a way to celebrate the season by having a mattress sale. You catch that bit of spiritualism thinking about maybe going to church, as you wrap grandma’s microbiotic vegetable steamer in Christmas paper, while slugging brandy from a Santa shapped decanter. This is the only time of the year where one is not phased by paying $6 for $1.98 worth of paper and ribbon. And nothing says hearth, home and holidays like that giant singing Christmas tree I saw on sale in Osco.

I’m just pretty glad everything is relatively right with the world. How can I say that with all the terrorism and anthrax and war happening all over the place? Ok. I could get angry, or fretful, or scared – it wouldn’t help anyone and it wouldn’t be doing me a whit of good. Apathic? No. Weary. Maybe. Anyway, the one of the good things I think that came from all this was the wake-up call everyone received. It seems to have made most people cling to each other, bringing out the non-commercial wishes and fellowship in everyone amongst the pink plastic reindeer, and light up snowmen. The moments are becoming more pure and the more blatant stains of cynicism have been washed away. Kind of nice to see the world wallowing in the sentimentality you usually feel when you sit in the dark, watching the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. I have to say that I think these moments are rare and wonderful, when you realize you are having one. A small moment when everything is safe and right.

I had one of those yesterday. It was around 2 in the morning. I was piddling around on the computer and muted the TV. Dogs were snoozing at my feet and mousies were up staring at me. The heat had kicked on and it was warm. And I was listening to “Shambala,” daydreaming that I was dancing in the warm Kansas rain with Keifer Sutherland. Then I was in the moment. I stopped and realized it. It was the purest moment of contentment that I have known in a very long time. My thoughts were totally devoid of ANY sort of stress or worry and my mind was at rest, as it were. I felt as it I was afloat in warm cream.

I wish I knew how to recapture that. I had attempted to tonight, but a number of things have drained the cream from my tub. I can’t seem to get comfortable – I feel the bolt in my butt and a slight pain where I should have had better lumbar support. It’s slightly cold, thus slightly tinting the contentment factor and the dogs are farting up a storm from eating leftovers. I’m suddenly annoyed as I see the Dell computer dude on TV telling some sot that he was doing to get one for Christmas. And my cynicism is welling up in buckets as I watch Richard Gordon Scalon revise his doomsday vision timeline. He had originally said that he was given visions by some force, some strange beings, old men who bore a striking resemblance to ZZ Top, of catastrophy that was going to split the continent with inland seas and cause upheaval on earth – he drew maps and wrote books of which he husksters on the internet – all this would have been a millennial event, but now has been postponed till 2012. We’ll see.

And I think that I wouldn’t really want Keifer here being my love slave. He might turn out to be a total chowderhead – and not the image I have in my mind that comforts in the warm cream times of my life. For my wish to be fufilled, the dream somehow dies. It’s Christmas that reminds me that what I wish for may not be what I really want. Maybe its not what we receive that makes us happy or defines us, but what we don’t. Mostly, its how we deal with all our dreams and desires that shapes whether contentment moments can happen – can one be content or satisfied with what we have? Is the grass always greener inside Eden? If I get all I want, what would be left for me? I have learned more about me and what I want from my reality by exploring my pipe dreams and that an essential part of my being is having dreams, not fufilling them. Odd, eh? I would have thought earlier in my young life that if I only could get X or Y, I truly would be happy. Now all I want is a light to guide me in the dark, and some epiphanies once in a while. I don’t know what insight or enlightenment comes from this time of year, but it would be sad if we didn’t get SOME sort of realization from it and all that in which it comes wrapped.

Maybe it’s a time just to see the snow fall as you fill the tub with cream.