Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas: Ultimate Place-Making Experience

Last weekend, we had a huge 2' snowstorm in Washington, DC, one week before Christmas. I couldn't have been more delighted. It reminded me of my childhood in Western New York where Christmases were always white and where the holiday season meant putting on nativity plays, singing carols, and making gifts for friends and family.

As I sit here listening to the carols I've heard ever since I was born, I realize that this time of year is the ultimate place-making experience. If I get beyond the commercialism that can make Christmas superficial and stressful, I re-immerse myself in all those things that make America America and home Home. As I continue our own family traditions, I remember how we always hung Christmas cards around our doorways . . . how we decorated the tree together . . . how the neighbors gave us hot chocolate and gingerbread when we sang Jingle Bells for them . . . how we'd go up to Grandpa and Grandma's to open gifts and eat macadamia nuts and chocolate candies.

Many today say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" and while I understand and appreciate the intension of inclusiveness behind the phrase, I can understand why some are uncomfortable with the new expression. Whether you're religious or not, Christmas holds traditions and memories for most of us that go to the meaning of Home and Place. And in a rapidly globalizing, increasingly commercialized world, we consciously or unconsciously cling to traditions that root us again and remind us of where we come from.


Aaron Collegeman said...

Amen. Merry Christmas Marilyn and Aldo.

Our Founders said...

Merry Christmas Aaron! Here's to 2010: the Year We Make Maximum Gains in Revitalizing Old Town Winchester. said...

nostalgic isnt. Me too, same feeling different country different occasions.

Merry Christmas !!

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Phoenix Sunrise said...

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Olive Tree said...

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