I realized at the age of thirteen that I hated Christmas. Because it was bringing out the worst in me. Christmas for me was only about getting. Stuff. Getting what I wanted. Getting more than my sister. More than my friends. And of course falsely believing that the stuff was going to make me happy.
Inevitably though, the opening of the Christmas gifts on December 24th was a disappointment. My parents never got it right. And I always had the feeling my sister got more and better things. And then, back at school after the holidays, my classmates and I would compare, and that comparison would leave me feeling even worse -- because when you begin to compare, there will always be someone better off, but I didn't understand that then.
And, of course the stuff I did get didn't really increase my happiness beyond a few moments, or a few days at the most. Then I'd be back at base level.
A couple of years later I had become vegetarian. Then the amount of dead animals on the table would be a source of disgust and anger. It all seemed so senseless (and still does) to kill living beings purely for our indulgence.
For the last thirty years, I have celebrated, perhaps three or four 'traditional' Christmases. With the family. With a Christmas tree and Santa Claus with a cotton beard and a belly made of two pillows. With that mountain of animal flesh. And Christmas gifts. And each time I've probably managed to ruin the Christmas spirit with my sour mood.
Now we are in the midst of a pandemic, and what's even worst, in a climate crisis that's unfolding faster than we thought (or hoped.
And both are so clearly brought on, at least in part, by our (humanity) greed and delusion. Most viruses come from animals, from how we treat animals. As if they weren't living beings, capable of feeling pain, just like us. And from how we cut down more and more forest, and push wild animals into smaller and smaller areas.
We think we are separate from other beings, and we don't realize that our actions affect EVERYTHING.
Climate change is brought on by the increased CO2 in the atmosphere. Which is caused by our greed and delusion. Thinking that 'stuff' will make us happy, we keep consuming. We (and I mean I here) eat when we're not hungry. We drink when we're not thirsty. We shop even though we don't need anything. We shop because of boredom or sadness. We torture and kill animals even though we don't need to. We think that the world is our oyster and that we therefore can jet here and there, letting out massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.
This year, because of the pandemic, air traffic went down by ninety percent. Many industries were at a standstill, at least for some weeks. Shopping slowed down. And our CO2 output dropped by 7%!!! We need to cut it by about 50% to even have a chance to survive!
No, our future is not so bright that we have to wear shades!!!
I don't know that much about Jesus, but he seemed like a pretty cool dude. And Christmas is supposedly about celebrating his birth, right?
To me, he seemed to be an awakened being. Like the Buddha. I think he would be absolutely appalled by how we do this holiday.