Get your dirty paws off my Christmas
Posted by Carlos Esteban RD
Taken from elperroflautareaccionario.wordpress.com
Translated from the Spanish by Roberto Hope
When the West was called Christendom, Christianity was the state religion, not because the kings should have imposed it upon their subjects, but exactly the opposite: the community made first the beliefs of the Church its own. gave them life and gave color to its feasts, in joyful collective anonymity, designed forms of celebrating each indicated occasion, with its proper songs, its precise staging, its gastronomy, and even its own time pattern.
Christmas, not in the sense of a strictly religious feast but of a popular public feast all over the West is not a celebration designed in a study, commissioned by the government in power, with a timetable published in the Official Gazette. Public powers or large stores can solemnize Christmas but not create it, just as in marriage. They receive it already made and full of associated traditions and rituals which sometimes vary from region to region, because that is the way it is born, from the people who understand what it means that God, the Creator of everything, absolute omnipotence, should have made Himself one of us, as a general who infiltrates alone the enemy lines. An imagination which Is not touched by the scene of the Almighty turned into a newborn who depends upon his parents for everything, will never understand a word of poetry.
It is not for this, that I defend the position of the sour English puritans which prohibited Christmas, or that I may quibble about something so evidently democratic as a ruler putting himself at the service of a universal project of the people, no. It is simply that the cult, the official religion, although tacit and nameless, is now another, not merely different, but unashamedly hostile to the faith that saw Christmas born. In the Manger scene of our political life, Herod's Palace is at the center and on the first plane.
Christmas is Christian, and we Christians, who have created it even as a popular feast, have shared it delightedly with peoples of all creeds and conditions. But when the world has turned itself resolutely against everything symbolized by Christmas, it is high time to claim the 'copyright'. I don´t make this a liberal matter, that is, I not only demand that the public authorities get their dirty paws off our feast. I repudiate, just the same, its private commercialization, I curse its vague, diffused use, disconnected from its origin, to sell perfumes or mortgages.
To be saved, Christmas should go back to where it was born, family, home, and hearth. Chesterton was happy that the Church should have decided to solemnize the birth of Christ when it's the coldest part of the year and is least appealing to go out to the street. The home is the most desolate station of modernity, the fortress which we have massively deserted. Modern man is a lame creature, of the leg representing private life, while it displays an atrocious hypertrophy of the other, representing the public life. Perhaps it may not be very practical to ask for a radical turnaround, away from this unbalance, but at least in Christmas we could go back home and build it, and live it there, and let it get back renewing everything from there..