Sunday 24 December 2023

Christmas Eve

   ‘Christmas Eve.
   ... The opposite of New Years:
   It is the time of the year for family reunions, for Yule logs and trees blazing—for gifts, and for the eating of special foods and drinks.
   It is the personal time, rather that the social time; it is the time of focusing upon self and family, rather than society at large; it is the time of rimed windows, star-coated angels, of burnish bushes, captured rainbows, of fat Santas with two pairs of trousers (because the youngsters who sit upon their laps are easily awed); and the time of cathedral windows, blizzards, carols, bells, manger scenes, season’s greetings from those far removed (even if they live but a short distance away), of broadcast Dickens and holly and candles, of poinsettia and evergreen, of snowbanks, firs, spruces, pines, of the Bible and Medieval England, of “What Child is This?,” and “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem,” of the birth and the promise, of light in the darkness; the time, and the time to be, the feeling before the realization, the realization before the happening, the trafficking of red and green, the changing of the year’s guard, of tradition, of loneliness, sympathy, empathy, sentimentality, singing, faith, hope, charity, love, desire, aspiration, fear, fulfilment, realization, faith, hope, death; a time of the gathering together of stones, of embracing, getting, losing, laughing, dancing, mourning, rending, silence, speaking, death and not speaking. It is a time to break down and time to build up, a time to plant, and a time to pluck that which is planted....’
Roger Zelazny, The Dream Master (New York: Ace, 1966), pp.61-62. First published as He Who Shapes.