Friday, December 9

She's my favorite writer for a reason

I gush about Jeanette Winterson a lot, I know. But I admire everything about her and her approach to life, which is decidedly deliberate and conscientious about everything, down to the damn sticks she picks up in her yard to make into Christmas decorations.

Christmas is too good to waste on miserable shopping, endless guzzling, and frequent drunken collapses. Parties are great, and gifts are important, but it’s good to know what we are celebrating, and why, and it’s good to pull back and find the peace and reflection that Christmas can offer.

One of the things I love to do each year is to decorate the house with found objects. I gather branches and cones from the woods, and the kids and I collect discarded plastic bottles and cans, and cut and spray them into exciting decorations. We have a prize for the best found-object decoration.

I don’t have a Christmas tree inside -- we decorate the trees outside with lights and nut-cakes for the birds. Inside, we just hang our trimmings from the beams, from the ceiling, over the fireplace, wherever looks good, until the whole house is quietly glittering.

It’s good for the kids to make decorations – they need to know that buying things is the soft option. There’s so much we can do for ourselves, and when we don’t, we’re just handing a little bit more over to big business.

I needed to read about this kind of considerate, quiet celebration of the holiday. All I've seen and heard for several weeks now is the ongoing shuffling, gurgling and grunting of a nation gorging itself on the pursuit of frivolous crap. Don't get me wrong -- I love giving and getting frivolous crap as much as the next hoarder.

But the sheer loud ridiculousness of the consumerism and one-upmanship that pervades the season makes it hard for me to enjoy the holidays for whatever the hell they are supposed to be (something about peace and goodwill, I think). Somewhere in my fantasy Christmas land, there is a place where you can gather and give and receive gifts symbolizing love and friendship without trampling someone's grandma the day after Thanksgiving on your way to the Tickle Me Elmo aisle.


Blogger Wendy said...

I, too, love Jeannette Winterson. Woot!

Sat Dec 10, 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger oskiesmom said...

Her kids are gonna be mad that they didn't get iPods.

Sun Dec 11, 01:56:00 AM  

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