D-D-Praz . . . the band "not in a box"

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Meaning of Christmas

For most the dust has settled from the torrent of opening gifts, morning coffee, and some trivial issue with the pet dog   or cat.  We’re moving on into the Christmas day, finding our favorite programs, the music that brings back those rare special memories of Christmas past, and finding ourselves in the kitchen or on the road to grandma’s house preparing that traditional favorite Christmas dinner.  Well, that’s the case for most of us in America.

As Moriah and I began networking the release of our album “D-D-Praz Christmas,” we realized that for many more across the world, Christmas just isn’t like that.  There’s no snow in Brazil, or sled rides in Australia.  Mistletoe is more of a European thing, and in other areas there are no trees decorated with shimmering lights and colorful orbs.  While the majority of the world remains Catholic in religious tradition, those customs vary dramatically when considering the convergence of tradition with religion as we move around the globe.  Some parts of the world conduct a processional in tribute to the Virgin Mary, and a symbolic baby Jesus is moved from home to home in the neighborhood.  At the dawn of New Age religion and self-awareness, many pagan practices that filtered into the Christmas tradition are finding a New Era of religious significance.  As Christian values are replaced with humanist views of the world, the pagan practices become for many the new rally behind this Holiday season.   Then there are parts of the world where religious piety renounces anything at all to do with Christmas, and what it may or may not represent on the global scale – whether charity, good will, or aspirations for peace.

Popular commercial artists in the ‘60’s, and again in the 80’s, made their appeals for an awareness of global peace and harmony during the Holiday season – as if Christmas charity and compassion for the common man would rally around the Holiday season and music would unite for some utopia they envisioned.  As the state of the American nation is economically depressed and jobless rates have sky-rocketed, the pocketbooks of many will reflect on the scarcity of gift-giving, contributions to charity, and generally impacts well-wishing and cheer around the 2010 Holidays.  Statistically, more and more homes are affected by divorce, where the children, “naughty” or “nice” will be split between homes, and a traditional, family-centered Holiday becomes something different.

So what does it really all mean, anymore?  What significance does the Holiday season have on your life, on your memories of family and tradition?  Where were some of your momentous Christmas experiences – at home or away from home?  With family and friends, or somehow estranged from all of that?

Moriah and I ask for each of you to share something about what this Holiday season has meant to you, now; and comment about what are some of your most memorable experiences of Christmas past.  Is that experience a gift, or a lover from over-seas, that moment spent with a now deceased friend or relative, or a moment when global peace and harmony was achieved in an instantaneous epiphany brought on by some chemical additive?  What is Christmas to you?

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2 responses to “Meaning of Christmas

  1. D-D-Praz 12/25/2010 at 14:01

    We’ll start. This year Moriah was with her mom – she is the product of a divorce. I fell asleep Christmas eve immediately after Moriah and I drove around the neighborhood looking for some store open to buy coffee – and exploring all the house lights decorations. So I woke up to a quiet home, except for the Christmas tree light strand that has a music box playing. I have spent Christmas morning on the phone and chatting with friends, online, about this very thing: “whacha doin’ fer Christmas?” Moriah called this morning, obviously excited to share about all the gifts she’d received – makeups, fashion design games, and clothes.

    Over the years I have spent many “non-traditional” Christmas’ away from home and family. Some on boats while I was in the Merchant Marines, others in exotic places like Key West, Florida; or alone in Tacoma, Washington. My fondness has always been for Christmas caroling, and it seems from my youth, there has been an end to all that door-to-door caroling and spreading Christmas cheer. It was the caroling that always “kicked in” that Holiday spirit, if it were such.

    But I’d have to say the two most memorable experiences about Christmas were some specific toys, and the time spent with both sisters. When I was still in elementary school, there were a number of Christmas’ where Santa brought the Dinky Toys – each year another one or two to add to my collection. These toys were durable, die-cast models of military tanks, jeeps, rocket launchers, . . . the works! What was cool about these Dinky Toys were they actually functioned – wheels and turrets turned and they came with miniature rounds that would fire from a spring-loaded tank turret, or rocket launcher. When the little plastic ammunition was lost, pieces of match-stick worked just as good. I remember that those Dinky toys were virtually indestructible and survived many, many conquests where I, like Gulliver, was the gigantic nemesis; but still couldn’t destroy those metal toys – fire, baseball bats, the works !!

    Every year, at some point during the festivities of the Holidays, I remember the time spent with my two sisters on Christmas eve sleeping in the same room; waiting, waiting, waiting, . . . to hear sleigh bells, or hoofs on the rooftop, or some little noise remnant of a fat, overdressed man stumbling through our house to get to the stockings and cookies. As we stayed awake, we would listen to the transistor radio that played Christmas music, counting down the top 100 popular Christmas songs of all time. I don’t recall that we ever stayed awake until the number one song would be announced at mid-night.

  2. kelly 12/25/2010 at 16:40

    I have fond memories of Christmas with my family…cousins,aunts and uncles,grandparents and the like. Eating, laughing, playing. But one thing my mother did was at the end of the day was to read the Christmas story from the Bible. I carried that tradition on with my children in hopes that they would do the same. I feel nostalgic for the wonder of youth. Everything was magical, I miss that. But I keep those memories in my heart as I carry on from day to day. God bless you all.

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