‘Sad December now is here’ was the first line of a song that was taught to us when we were in the Primary school. Of course, the song was based on the dismal gloom of the winter season in the West. To us in our blessed and blissful tropical isle, it is the month all of us have been awaiting eleven months; the month of merry making, without realising why, going on shopping sprees only to complain later of the high cost of living, listening to stale Christmas Carols played ad infinitum and best of all, eating unhealthy food without the slightest restraint just for the sake of ending up in a free hospital, with two patients on one bed!
Superficially, it looks meaningless why those who belong to other religions should celebrate Christmas. But at the same time, the message of the angels to the shepherds was ,’ Rejoice and be glad ……Behold I bring you Good tidings of comfort and joy……Peace on earth , Goodwill to all men. (The last two are rare commodities in the modern world!) So far as the Biblical command is concerned, it is quite alright for those of other religions to celebrate the birth of our Lord.
Psychologists say that those who are addicted to the bottle are emotionally immature
The way they celebrate!
While all have the right to celebrate Christmas, the absurdity of it is the way many people celebrate it. Many years ago, I went to the Central Y.M.C.A.for a haircut in Colombo, on 27 or 28 of December. While I was having my hair cut, there were two gentlemen seated behind me, awaiting their turn. I couldn’t help listening to them when one of them asked, ‘Machchan, how was Christmas with you?’
The other replied, ’Very good, machchan. I enjoyed very much. I had two bottles.’
They were obviously not soft drinks! I was saddened to hear that their sense of enjoyment was to have liquor.
I am also aware of another person, who was perpetually drunk. His excuse was that his wife didn’t write to him regularly
Those who are addicted to liquor justify their drinking habit by trotting out lame excuses. One is to say that Jesus too drank wine. That was true. Wine was drunk during that era, during those days.
I am personally aware of one person who said, ‘After all, drinking is the only way we could have a heart-to-heart –talk with a friend and the only time we could sing’. I happened to hear it, but I kept mum. I said to myself, ‘Well, I could do both talk or sing without liquor.
I am also aware of another person, who was perpetually drunk. His excuse was that his wife didn’t write to him regularly. I knew of his movements. I found out that he drank heavily, even when he was in the same house with his wife! Another reason given by drinking braggarts is that they are more manly, while the non-drinkers aren’t. Maybe, that’s because they realize that they lack manliness in other ways. (No pun intended!)
So much so, for lame excuses. When I was working in a charitable organization, headed by a retired, high-ranking army officer, it was pointed out that I was very immature, because I didn’t drink. My father found this accusation most ridiculous. He asked me, ‘Is drunkenness a qualification in that office?’What I didn’t tell them was that immaturity was in them and not in me. Psychologists say that those who are addicted to the bottle are emotionally immature.
My father who never drank nor smoked and ate only one piece of anything sweet, lived up to the age of 91. I always think that he would have lived longer, if my brother and I had not gone abroad as political exiles, leaving him without any male support
You all are very familiar with the story of the Nativity. The birth of Jesus was announced first to the shepherds and not to the V.I.P.s of the area. It was because the shepherds were treated as outcasts at that time. The message was clear. Jesus came to save all,including the poor and the outcasts.
The bottle that you had on Christmas day last year-- does it still give you the same happiness?