Home > 2011 Posts, About Dave > Merry Christmas Mister Potter

Merry Christmas Mister Potter

December 18, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Dave the WriterA few evenings ago, my bride and I were wrapping gifts and watching It’s a Wonderful Life in one of our happy, annual Christmas traditions. Our nod to progress this time was that we viewed the colorized, Blu-ray version. It’s a perfect and amazing restoration.

The great film’s almost-memorized dialog registered on the surface of my mind as I reflected on the transmogrification of Christmas. Those filled with cultural self-contempt masquerading as inclusiveness clamor to relentlessly portray Christmas as inherently jingoistic and, apparently, offensive to all non-Christians by virtue its very existence.

This is confusing since it doesn’t correlate with broad personal experience or common sense. To me, an Old Testament-leaning agnostic, the spirit of Christmas seems so open and inclusive. And, I assert that most folks without a fanatical ideology they’re eager to inflict on the rest of us see it that way as well.

For example, in Buddhist and Shinto Japan, Christmas is the biggest family holiday. That’s not for religious reasons, but because the spirit of that day is such a good fit with positive cultural norms in that land.

In Turkey, which is 98+% Muslim, the biggest holiday is Ramazan Bayrami, the feast day after Ramadan. Many times, a cheerful, friendly Turk has wished me “Aahpee Bayrami!” and I’ve returned the greeting in the wholesome way it was meant. I’ve even had the chance to ask several of those folks what they would think if they were in America around Christmastime and I wished them ‘Merry Christmas’ in the same way. Every one said that they would think I wanted them to share the happiness and good feelings of the day.

Then, I got to thinking about ‘keeping Christmas’ in the Dickensian sense. Looking around me at the beautiful decorations that my bride so lovingly arranges out of joy in the Spirit of Christmas, I finally put into words the feeling I’ve always had about her love of this day but could never properly express. Those words are a paraphrase Dickens himself:

“It was always said of her that she knew how to keep Christmas well, if any woman alive possessed the knowledge.”

Yup. That’s her, I thought, looking over as she placed another work of her Christmas Gift Art under the tree.

Right then on the screen, a joyful Harry Baily ran through Bedford Falls ‘Merry Christmasing’ everyone and everything in sight–even the vile, thieving wretch, Mr. Potter. As I noted above, I’m more of an Old Testament guy on that stuff about your enemies, but in honor of my bride and the Christmas Spirit, I have to agree with Harry’s view and another line from Dickens:

 “May that be truly said of us, and all of us! God Bless Us, Every One!”

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  1. December 20, 2011 at 8:03 am

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