There is always something about the Christmas and New Year celebrations that brings out the child in all of us.
One can try his best to be cynical and matter-of-fact about it all, but the pull of sentimental tradition and the nostalgic memories of idealized Christmases of the past are difficult to resist and one usually ends up, although at first a bit shamefaced and self-conscious, eventually joining enthusiastically in the general revelry and boisterous merrymaking.
This proves that while there is indeed rampant commercialization and a lot of artificiality about the Christmas and New Year festivities, it is also true that these festivals fulfill a subconscious need among us to find a reason for gaiety and celebration during these dark, somber and dying months of the year and find the occasion to renew ourselves, mentally and spiritually, for the challenges of the year to come.
So this year I did what the children did. I watch and listened with appreciation to the carolers sing their Christmas carols. I attacked with wild abandon the Christmas midnight feast with no thought about cholesterol or the massive surplus of deadly calories. I lit firecrackers, shrieked and shouted with glee at the thunder of exploding lights and sounds during New Year's Eve. I oohed and aahed at the presents as they were unwrapped. All in all, I had, as they say, a really rollicking good time.
Perhaps that is how these holidays and the Yuletide season must be celebrated. With the innocent sensibilities and carefree perspective of the hidden child within all of us.
Then maybe, only by giving ourselves the time to have real fun and a much needed break from the demands of a cruel and demanding world, can we face with new vigor and renewed strength and determination the challenges of the new year ahead.