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Brown Christmas

"I'm Dreaming Of A ... what?"


People keep their hopes up for snow, but it looks like it may not happen. The season does seem out of sorts. One woman I know commented, "It is a bit like making lefse on the Fourth of July." Delicious but different.

But "brown" is elemental, the color of the earth. It is the soil from which so much of life springs. We could think in those terms about the more organic meaning of the season beyond the usual displays of skiing, snow, sleighs, and twinkling lights on laden trees.

Or we can reframe Brown Christmas. I recently watched "The Man Who Invented Christmas." I did not realize that in England (at the time of Charles Dickens), its celebration was rather tepid. "A Christmas Carol" changed all of that. Dickens gave people the opportunity to see this holiday in a new light.

It reminds me of the old tale of a learned man who approaches a rather brash and insolent teen. The elder holds a small bird behind his back and asks the lad, "This bird. Is it alive or dead?" And he replies to his own question, "It is whatever you want it to be.”

Stories like this point to the fact we can decide. We can make choices that, in time, affect our reality.

A Christmas without snow is like that. Long ago, I watched a movie where a young man and woman were sitting beneath the outstretched branches of a tree. I cannot recall the name of the film, but, in essence, the actor said:

"See this flower. It is a common clover, and the world has little use for it. But name it something different, Maid of the Morning or Morning Mist, and people will regard it in an entirely new way. Its value hasn't changed, but our appreciation of it has."

Brown Christmas is what we make of it. We can choose what meaning to assign. We can infuse our traditions into a different frame.

Dark and dull night, fly hence away

And give the honor to this day

That sees December turned to May

That sees December turned to May.

John Rutter / What Sweeter Music

Photo image courtesy of Pixabay.

If you enjoyed this or found it of value please consider passing "Brown Christmas" on to friends and family. Comments also are always appreciated.



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