It´s that time of the year again. Red, green, gold – the christmas tricolor. The appalling christmas lights and sparkle, the cinnamon-clove perfume and Glühwein (lots) made it almost impossible to avoid noticing it in the last few weeks. But what is Christmas really? Sure, evidently it´s a religious celebration and all the ideals and values that are implied by it. But is this what we are really celebrating nowadays? Is “X-MAS 2017” still somehow linked to it?
Personally, Christmas @Casa-Berti-Mei-Pochtler has always been synonymous to an occasion to spend time all together in one place, full stop. Some of us believe in God (a still existing but extinguishing species of humankind), some of us don´t know, some are indifferent to the whole concept- still, when Christmas time begins, we spend some of our time thinking about each other, writing cards, finding presents and on Christmas we keep having an outrageously exaggerated dinner together, an unbalanced mix between Austrian and Italian traditional dishes, served with animated conversations about the duck, until we -given the amount of food most of us ingest, I guess the most accurate word to be used in this context is “roll”- roll to our tree, strand around it like whales and start unwrapping presents with lounge-jazzy versions of Christmas songs playing in the background.
What exactly has this to do with Christmas? I suppose to answer this question, it is essential to ask what christmas is, anyway. I like to think of it as the celebration of unconditional love. And maybe, if I truly knew what the religious message of Jesus Christ really meant, I could say whether what I celebrate on Christmas is the same as what religious people celebrate too.
How do we show unconditional love today and every day? Well, today for example, I kept loving my aunt playing Christmas-tree-decoration-site manager after she almost had my brother killed by making him climb on the tree to hang a decoration -I quote- “10cm higher than that branch next to the long one pointing at the red ball” (most decorations on our tree are red). But how do you show unconditional love if your aunt doesn´t happen to have the same murderous vein? Good point- your life must be really hard.
Sitting here by the tree, I realise how complex this topic revealed itself to be and after quite a long meditative session covering both our Micheal Bublé Christmas-CDs, the best I can come up with is: loving unconditionally means sharing every positive and negative bit of your own life and personality, thus being honest and truthful about your own limits and those of others, accept the latter, feeling free to criticise them, but love these persons as they are, always.
To me unconditional love is really something just related to my family. Love towards friends and lovers is not unconditional. I guess that´s why saying “I love you” to a lover is an important and selective special thing to me, unlike it is to say to a family member for my love for them can be given for granted.
In the light of the considerations above, and to answer the leading question of this essay, I guess what Casa-Berti-Mei-Pochtler (or at least I myself) celebrates on Christmas, can be quite compared with the religious feast, for “loving always, knowing the limits of the other” seems analogous to God loving humans despite their sins. This seems to be one good reason to hold that “X_MAS 2017” and the “original concept” after all, may differ in form, but not in substance.
In the spirit of Christmas and to all of you loyal enough to read this blog on Christmas day:
Spread the love to your beloved ones, all the way to and over their limits, to your friends, to your lovers and to yourselves- but always keep an eye on your murderous aunt´s plans.