Ebenezer Scrooge and Bah-humbug…
Written in 1843, Dickens’ Christmas Carol infamous character seems to be our favorite and instinctively fitting hero of our era, collective monomaniacal consumerism and hollow sentimentality.
All these cute and touching Christmas and politically correct westernly termed “Holiday Season’s” Greetings to avoid offending the rest of the world religious beliefs, e-cards, and unbelievably “heavy” emails with their cutsy and heavy attachments that drive you nuts especially when you are desperately trying to download them on your iphone, blackberry or any other vulnerably “smart” phone…
How do you really feel about them?
Tradition, habit, socially acceptable norms and obligations or a genuine need to connect and signal your love, friendship, affection, good will or whatever emotion is fitting for the recipient of those warm holiday wishes?
How sincere are you when you broadcast your wishes to your universe of family, friends, acquaintances and to commercialize the point for any business – the greetings to your “loyal” customers, suppliers, colleagues and any other commercial partner of sorts?
“Habit is a great deadener.” So, if you do it out of this wonderful habitual obligatory warmth accompanying the December spirit – just don’t. If on the other hand, you do see this as an opportunity to speak out and express what’s in your heart – then by all means, do!
Sometimes, in our rushed, chronologically and emotionally challenged world, we forget all about gratitude, appreciation and acknowledgment of those people who are making our lives just a bit or – in many cases – so much better. And Christmas and the holidays -like all symbolic representations – sometimes lack the authenticity and in extension the depth and the true meaning and significance of the gesture, the real, heart-felt wish for someone to do better, the artful and tactful act of giving.
In the extreme commercialization of everything, let’s not all just be like everyone else. Speak in your own voice, use your own words, feel your feelings and if and when appropriate, share them with those you must. But not just with everybody – because this is what everyone else does…
P.S. Thanks to Umair Haque for the inspiration: “…While, admittedly, business has done its bah-humbug brain-dead best to try and shamelessly commandeer Christmas in the haggard name of crass, vulgar consumerism, try as the masters of the universe might, they can’t stop the holidays from being about the deeper elements of an authentically well-lived life: lasting relationships, human intimacy, animating passion, enduring ideals, higher purpose, shared values, meaning (and maybe a homemade fruitcake or two)…” From Umair Haque’s HBR blog The Economic Legacy of Ebenezer Scrooge.