We human beings really are an odd species. We spend approximately 364 days each year in division, frequently inflaming that division to the point where we go out and kill each other – or sit in a bunker and get a drone to do our killing for us. Yet when Christmas wheels around, we go all soft, sing carols, call on all people of good-will to join in a brotherhood/sisterhood of man.
And we really mean it – at the time. In the days before Covid, we went to see our little darlings do their embarrassing best in the Christmas pageant. We went to midnight Mass and had our hearts stirred by the soaring choir and the determination to make the world better. We looked around our Christmas dinner table and thought how good it was to have a family to love and a feast to eat with them.
And then we stumble into January and all the old conflicts and bleak enmities surface again, and our better self gets packed like the Christmas tree under the stairs, somewhere in the remote regions of our consciousness. Red in tooth and claw, we return to our battles big and small.
It’s a good job the great majority of us aren’t Christians. Otherwise the chasm between Glorias and Gotchas would be more than we could bear.
Nollaig shona duit – Happy Christmas