This is not surprising, for we live in the Age of Mewling. A great number of people are aggrieved or offended by . . . well, nearly everything. "Trigger warnings" and all that. What a sad way to live.
The World is what it is. On a daily basis, we have to pick and choose. Gratitude, not complaint, ought to be the basis for making our choices.
And there is always a larger context.
We are folded all
In a green fable
And we fare
Through a revel
Of wind-tossed oats and barley
Past sickle and flail
To harvest home,
The circles of bread and ale
At the long table.
It is told, the story --
We and earth and sun and corn are one.
Now kings and shepherds have come.
A wintered hovel
Hides a glory
Whiter than snowflake or silver or star.
George Mackay Brown, The Wreck of the Archangel (John Murray 1989).
Ben Nicholson, "1930 (Christmas Night)" (1930)
Nothing about Christmas offends me. In fact, most everything about the season delights me. I'm happy to hear Bing Crosby sing "White Christmas" for the ten-thousandth time. Likewise Perry Como and "Home for the Holidays" and Andy Williams and "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year."
I love the fact that people string lights on their houses. What could be more wonderful than walking at night through a neighborhood that is full of colorful lights? It makes me feel that all is right with the World -- like the sound of lawn mowers in the distance on a sunny Spring afternoon. There is a great deal of truth and beauty in these simple human impulses. Why not festively light up the night at the darkest time of the year?
Christmas; the themes are exhausted.
Yet there is always room
on the heart for another
snowflake to reveal a pattern.
Love knocks with such frosted fingers.
I look out. In the shadow
of so vast a God I shiver, unable
to detect the child for the whiteness.
R. S. Thomas, No Truce with the Furies (Bloodaxe Books 1995).
Harold Bush, "The Christmas Tree" (1933)
Yes, there is always a larger context. "We are folded all in a green fable." There is absolutely nothing to complain about.
Equinox to Hallowmas, darkness
falls like the leaves. The
tree of the sun is stark.
On the loom of winter, shadows
gather in a web; then the
shuttle of St Lucy makes a
pause; a dark weave
fills the loom.
The blackness is solid as a
stone that locks a tomb.
No star shines there.
Then begins the true ceremony of
the sun, when the one
last fleeting solstice flame
is caught up by a
Children sing under a street
lamp, their voices like
leaves of light.
George Mackay Brown, Following a Lark (John Murray 1996).
Maeshowe (also known as "Maes Howe") is a chambered tomb located on the island of Mainland in the Orkney Islands. It was constructed in 2800 B. C. (or thereabouts). In the twelfth century, it was broken into by Vikings, who left behind runic inscriptions.
The entrance passage to the structure is aligned so that, at the time near and after the winter solstice, the rays of the setting sun shine against the rear wall of the tomb. Yuletide.
"A merry Christmas, friend!"
Robin Tanner, "Christmas" (1929)