Empty Christmas

The other day, before Tuesday, before Monday, we were listening to the rain fall outside the open window. The sky was more white and endless than stormy murky.

“It doesn’t even feel like Christmas,” she said.

I thought about it.

“What is Christmas supposed to feel like?” I asked, somewhat rhetorically.

She mulled.

We were on the cusp of Christmas and it was blustery outside. “Christmasy” weather.

I thought I heard an ocean of cars, people, mobs of crazed persistence, I thought I heard cash registers pounding piston-like in unison to the barely suppressed rage of a billion mad consumers drowning out the the delicate jingles of the holiday bells.

“You know, that Christmas magic you felt when you were young. The music, the trees, the family…”

Yes, of course I remember the Christmas magic.

The warmth of the crowded house. The fragrant woodsy smell of the tree and the lingering aroma of food and the lilt of excitement and laughter and my young mind on the edge, the precipice of naive wonderment under the spell of gifts and elusive magic which cascaded through the dark cold sky outside, as close as I would ever come to magic.

Magic never lasts, for it is dead. It never was and never is.

I pounced, “Christmas is bullshit. This culture is shallow and materialistic. Christmas is only about sell sell sell buy buy buy. It’s about consuming and corporations getting rich.”

I drove home shortly thereafter while mentally keeping track of the shopping I still needed to accomplish.

Christmas is gutted. It’s the brittle shell of a dream I spun from my childhood imaginations but now it is dusty, barren, and utterly meaningless.

The capitalist fiends have seen to it, they have stolen Christmas and replaced it with an exaggerated pool of avarice that feasts on our impulsive wants while discarding our magical expectations like a naked carcass.

I knew a Mexican chick a few years ago who was doing OK for herself financially and her kids demanded the latest gizmos for Christmas with the entitled self-assurance of a gluttonous oligarch.

“Of course it doesn’t feel like Christmas. Christmas went away and left its empty twin behind.”