In this house, where memory markers are stored, sits a lighted Christmas tree under which a modest number of gifts covered in decorative wrapping paper and topped with shiny bows marks a moment in the future, a few hours from now if random interruptions do not distract our family from agreed-upon meeting times here.
Do you faithfully promote the traditions of your ancestors, not questioning the reasons they chose for the habits we have setting aside family time to celebrate holidays?
Are you happy with the rhythms of life recognised by others?
In the past two years I have experienced changes to the patterns to which I’d grown accustomed, a few of the changes themselves repetitious changes to patterns earlier in my life, like familiar concentric waves I once formed bouncing back toward me.
We reap what we sow.
Karma will get you.
Reminders of the fish that got away, the paths not taken, the opportunity costs and risks associated with choices I made.
Because I have more than enough material goods in my life, my wants and needs in that regard are greatly diminished from when I was younger and driven to accumulate as a bizarre twist on the innate nesting, hunting and social climbing drilled into my head by a conspicuous consumption culture.
Share the wealth.
I only had 50 Christmas days with my father to work out the details of a family tradition that changed as our family changed, 50 more days than some. There were about 18,200 days which had no tradition tied to them that I could have spent with Dad learning about ancestral patterns.
In this house, my wife and my mother prepare food for our family Christmas dinner in a few hours, while my sister and her husband spend time with his family, my nieces and nephews spend time with their families.
On this day, people around the world, hundreds of millions of them, as the world turns, have set aside time with their families to repeat a pattern handed to them by their ancestors, a pattern that gives us a reason to share our wealth with each other.
Billions of us may or may not join in the celebration or don’t celebrate it for the same reason.
A week from now, our traditional calendar shows that a new year will begin on the 1st of January 2014.
I wonder if, on that day, I should move to a Martian calendar, no longer concerning myself with an Earth-centric one.
What about the other traditions handed down to me from my ancestors?
Points to ponder on Christmas Day…