Copyright © 2006 Henrietta W. Hay
The Eyes of Christmas
December 7, 2006
All I want for Christmas is my two good eyes. Well, I'll settle for one. I would like to keep the blue one active. The brown one is pretty well shot by macular degeneration.
I was born with one blue eye and one brown eye. My mother was somewhat embarrassed to have a girl baby with eyes the same color as some cats she had seen. But I have had great fun at peoples' reactions when they notice it. And both eyes have served me very well until now.
Seriously, I want the blue eye to keep seeing fairly enough that I can read. It makes it easier to talk to my readers, which I intend to continue to do. But should I be asking Santa Claus?
My eye problem become active just at the Christmas season. While using a kid's frivolous holiday song I got me to wondering, What is Christmas?
It is, of course, the celebration in all Christian nations of the birth of Christ. Or that is what it was originally. But today the difference between the religious and the secular is so sharp that it has literally created two Christmases. There have been major changes our physical and social structure in the intervening years. Of course things are different. We may not like all of them, but we still fly on airplanes, and listen to television and use computers, so I guess we're stuck with some of the things we don't like. There are 300 million of us now and that means a lot of opinions. The split between the religious and the secular has caused major changes in politics and religious practices.
In the United States Christmas lasts for a full month. On the day after Thanksgiving, parking lots around malls all over the country were full at 4:00 am. Stores opened at 5 and long lines were waiting to get in to the stores to spend money for Christmas. Sentinel columnist Mary Harmeling called tat day Black Friday. Spending too much money, buying gifts and decorations and food have taken over one kind of our Christmases.
Publicly, it is a secular holiday. Religious symbols are not allowed on or in public buildings or on public property. "Happy Holidays" has replaced "Merry Christmas" in many places. Toys grow more complex and expensive year by year. Santa Claus stands on every corner and in many stores.
But People of good will spend great amounts of time and money making sure that the poor children have gifts and that nobody goes without a Christmas dinner. Today more and more gifts take the form of donations to charity in the name of the recipient.
Children love Santa Claus and his reindeer and I hope they will continue to have him. Christmas trees and decorations and presents and parties and warmth and love will go on.
The purely religious side of Christmas continues mostly in the churches and in peoples homes and that has not changed trough the years. The spirit of the original Christmas is at the heart of the secular Christmas.
I guess that's my answer to "What is Christmas?" and maybe the two are not so different. from each other.
So Santa Claus, what I really want for Christmas are my two good eyes.