The Pull Toward the Lights

Watching T.V. is one of my favorite things to do. Food Network, Netflix, the news channels (although increasingly less so, with Donald J. Trump in office). You name it,  I like to watch it.

At this time of year, that means seeing LOTS of Christmas-themed commercials. Enjoy a refreshing Coke served by a fat, jolly polar bear. Be the best romantic partner ever by getting them a chocolate diamond pendant thingy at the mall jewelry store. Or—Thank you, Republican tax bill!— drive home your sweetie a brand new Lexus, with a red bow on top. If you just buy one of these somethings, you, too can have the very best Christmas ever.

But it doesn’t stop there, does it?

There’s a more insidious calling, pulling us toward the twinkling lights of the Yule. Like Emperor Palpatine  whispering to Luke Skywalker, “Embrace Christmas,” it says. “Your religion cannot bring you what your heart desires. The love of family and friends. Abundance of sustenance. And things, lots and lots of wonderful, new things.”

Of course, when I search my feelings, I know that the secular commercialism of Christmas is just a colorfully illuminated path to the Dark Side that creates a black hole in the soul that can never be filled. This is why, after growing up in a family that celebrated secular Christmas, I decided not to observe the holiday when I left home.

Twenty five years later, even with the energy shield of having married into a Jewish family and making the choice to observe only Hanukkah with my wife and kids,  I still feel the call toward Christmas.

Embrace Christmas. Join us. Celebrate. Be happy.

It is everywhere. Part of television commercials and shows; in songs on the radio and piped through store audio speakers; in the mail; on the internet; and all over houses in seasonal light displays.

So far, I have been able to resist going back to the multicolored, tinsel-adorned Dark Side.

When I feel the pull, I close my eyes and breathe.

I Just breathe…


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