Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas aint what it used to be.

As so many other people have said recently:
There is a lack of harmony in what our eyes perceive, when we wish to permeate ourselves with the Christmas mood, and wish to receive this Christmas mood from what we can see in today's environment. There is a discord in seeing the streets bedecked with Christmas trees and other decorations in preparation for the festival, and then seeing modern traffic rushing through the midst of it all. And if modern man does not feel the full extent of this discord, the reason may well be that he has disaccustomed himself to be sensitive to all the depth and intimacy which can be connected with this approaching festival. Of all that the Christmas festival can do to deepen man's inner nature, basically no more is left today, especially for the city dweller, than a last faint echo. He is hardly in a position to feel even vaguely its former greatness. His habits prevent him from perceiving this greatness any longer, a greatness to which humanity had become accustomed in the course of centuries.
How far back do we need to go to find that non-commercialised Christmas?  1960? 1940? 1920?

Except that the above quotation is from a lecture given in Berlin on 22nd December, 1910* (by Rudolf Steiner). He is clear that the golden age of Christmas had already gone by then, so maybe we look back to a golden age that never really existed? Or maybe we were rose tinted contact lenses.

[* The Christmas Festival In The Changing Course Of Time, Berlin, 22nd December, 1910.]