I went out shooting for a bit today. There’s chronically nothing to shoot around. So I made do with the seasonal enhancements to the village square. I deliberately toned down the bright colours and cheeky glitter in some parts of the photos. To me, this is a more appropriate representation of the season than the false cheer that one is force-fed.

I perceive Christmas as the epitome of falsitude. Whether we view it as an originally pagan or as a Christian celebration, people who are neither ancient pagans nor Christians celebrate it nowadays. I find this extremely puzzling. What I associate most with the season, besides false cheer, is obligation and duty misrepresented as affection and love.

Also, there is seasonal anxiety, pressure, vague disappointment, gnawing aimlessness, deeply felt loneliness, fear of the new year, regrets about the old year, unfulfilment and all that is crap. Along these lines, here are my crappy photos.

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Posted by Mara Eastern

I'm a sardonic blogger, snapper, scribbler and rhymer; a virtual space invader who indulges in cheerful negativism, morbid self-deprecation and bleak humour.

22 Comments

  1. Besides agreeing with you on most things I would add, in my own defence that all the ‘fakeness’ around this time of year can be countered if we remain consistent in how we feel and react to others. I find it troubling that if I don’t make the effort to wish people a merry Christmas then nothing comes may (present company excluded).
    So I posted a Christmas wish yesterday and people did respond, and that was nice. So I begin to wonder what is wrong with me or my approach to people that elicits that sort of response. Christmas can be a fun time especially with little kids around and my family came last night and we had the best Christmas night together, full of fun and laughter. So you see I am stuck between two mysteries in a way. But there is no way of escaping it all I have to say. Have a good day.

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    1. Oh dear, you don’t need to add anything in your defence, I’m so not judging anyone! I’m just feeling somewhat down these holidays, hence my low-spirited post.

      Christmas wishes are nice when they are thoughtful, like the awesome card I got from you! That was so great. I like personal wishes. Of course I have no issue wishing other people happy holiday, as I understand that most people celebrate them, hence best wishes are in place. And I mean it too.

      It’s just my perspective, and I was a bit too general, I certainly didn’t mean to suggest that Christmas sucks, period. It can be a good time for many people. I used to enjoy it as a kid myself!

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      1. Sorry if I was a bit strong in my response..I think I was responding to my day more than to your post….but thanks so much for your lovely comment.

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        1. Oh no, nothing wrong with you at all! We all filter what we read through our experience and mood at the moment, perfectly normal. And it’s good to get a different perspective!

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          1. Well I think we give other different perspectives….happy new Year, lets hope we both have a good one. xox

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          2. Yep. Not contradictory but complementary perspectives 🙂 Quote me on that.

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  2. First, your photos are really nice Mara! I don’t understand the carvings on/above the big door. Angels? I must agree with you on the false cheer. I do believe that some of it is also genuine. In my scenario, being totally alone in a big city can be tough enough. Add the Christmas situation and it becomes a bit depressing for me. The family is all back east in Michigan and Florida. wE HAD OUR cHRISTMAS IN mICHIGAN EARLIER THIS dECEMBER BUT THE REST OF THE SEASON just drags on. Frankly, I’ll be happy as usual when this is all over. The commercialism of the holiday is just insane over here and that irks me. Too many Americans have forgotten the real, actual reason for the season. Sorry about the CAPS. Oooops.

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    1. Thank you! I have no idea what the carvings are either, but I assume it’s some baroque decorations, there were musical instruments, so perhaps a musician lived in the building? I don’t know. It’s a pawn shop now. Shame.

      Christmas is hard for people who live alone. I’m feeling it myself. And I don’t even need to live in a big city 😉 Soon it will be over though!

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      1. Where are you moving? Big city?

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        1. Oh no, I’ve moved to my native village this spring and I’m still adjusting to the change!

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          1. So you moved back to your home town, that must be good!

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          2. Not sure, it’s weird really, after 15 or so years away…

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          3. That’s a long time away Mara. 🤔

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  3. False cheer (the photo) and colorful bubble are my favorites. But you did turn crap into beauty, Mara.

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    1. Aw, thank you very much for your kind words! And sorry for the depressing post, I just felt like it…

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      1. Oh, but I really do love your crappy photos!

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        1. LOL, thank you! So I don’t need to try too hard to make the photos less crappy?

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  4. The trick, I find, is to not get caught in the trap of all the commercial hype! Your photos, as always, are beautiful 🙂

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    1. Exactly! That’s the way to go, focus on the personal rather than the material.

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  5. I must tell you that as a person who has been working 7 days a week helping those who are disabled, often times on hospice care, emotions become heavy and hope can easily fade. My tolerance with “extended shopping seasons” and “commercialized cheer” is non-existent.

    Often though, while sitting with someone who is feeling their time on earth is limited, a magical transformation happens. Objects become unimportant and senseless, moments and experiences are treasured and beauty is found. The True Spirit of Christmas is felt in a simple kind smile, an empathetic look or touch, but most importantly in the realization that we don’t have to feel alone in times of need.

    It is truly a blessing to be an outside observer witnessing and helping a family focus on treasured moments and experiences, each one truly wanting to make the moment special for the other.

    I suppose we simply have to put blinders on, tune out the commercialism and intentionally focus on being aware how quickly our chances for sharing special times with others can slip away. Once you learn to treasure and find respect for people and not things you find yourself wanting to make the experience of Christmas special for them.

    I always enjoy your photos and thoughts, and I always find them just when I need too. Your comment about toning down the bright lights and cheeky glitter was a perfect explanation for my frustrations with this holiday season. Thanks for you post!

    With Respect, Hope, Joy and Love, Carmela

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    1. Thank you, Carmela, so much for your thoughtful comment! It resonates with me on so many levels.

      The elderly and the dying are to me perhaps the most neglected group of people. Whenever someone approaches me and asks for a charity contribution, it’s always for the children. Sure, the little people need help, but I was never offered the chance to contribute to, say, a hospice. That’s a contribution I’d happily make.

      I believe the elderly deserve as much dignity and support as they can get in the final stage of their lives. They have a whole life behind them and they likely contributed to the society, so now it’s the time to give back to them. And as you say, it often takes a little, sometimes all they need is some company and somebody to spend time with them. I think in general, these people are the easiest to please and the most grateful.

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