Today we are happy, we are in love, and we are feasting. Yet instead of spending money to be happy, we are feasting upon free food, healthy food, sustainable food. Instead of plastic from a factory in China, we are blessed each day with gifts that cannot be packaged. We make wine, we build houses, we make toys, and on a daily basis we are enriched. December 25th is like any other day, and every day is like Christmas in Eden.
On Christmas Day, people all over the world are excited, feasting, traveling, visiting – and if they have money – spending lots of it. Children especially look forward to Christmas with eager anticipation. There are two reasons for this:
1) It’s a holiday from school, and
While these things are undoubtedly occasions for joy, they also highlight the dark side of Christmas, which is only partially masked by the facade of joy.
For children and students everywhere, Christmas is a long-anticipated relief, an escape from the prison that is school. As with spring and summer breaks, the best part of school is being OUT of it! Adults recognize this too. Aside from a short summer vacation, the week from Christmas to New Year’s Day is a rare chance to take it easy and be away from work. Of course, everyone goes back. There needs to be some way to pay the bills racked up over holiday.
To so many people, LIFE is actually a prison. When you HAVE to be somewhere, whether you enjoy it or not, whether it is important to you or not, that is slavery. And for what? For plastic goods made in Chinese factories? For some genetically modified superchemical food? To ensure a safe and benign existence?
The second most celebrated aspect of Christmas is. . . the presents! For some this means hundreds or even thousands of dollars spent. For others this means hand-me-down clothing, or if you’re Bill Murray in the movie “Scrooged,” a package of meat from his butcher father. Rich kids get big, expensive presents; oftentimes so do the “poor kids,” whose parents work countless hours to try and compensate their children for the sad overworked lives they will inherit.
Especially because it is Christmas, let us remember that for many, life is horror. Not surrounded by loved ones, no money, nothing special or fancy, nowhere to be. I bring the truth about human life all across the planet, and sadly, the reality is depressing. But the reason it’s so depressing, is because it is so hard to see the truth that life is really a blessing. Today is all that we have. That there is way more than enough of everything and every day could be like Christmas. The darkness brings the renewed opportunity to see the light of truth.
So here is what I propose:
Every day could be Christmas. It is possible. It is a reality for the 16 adult people here in Eden who do not HAVE to go to work or be in school. Neither of those realities provide anything of real value anyways. Thinking that life is about mandatory schooling or putting in 30 years for corporate and then retiring is an obsolete paradigm. If you’re lucky, you’re spending Christmas Day with those you love the most – do you think it is impossible to have this every day (at least every day you want it). The over-emphasis on consumerism and the holidays obscures the fact that any day is a good day to give gifts to those around you – the gift of your love, your empathy, your attention. It is possible to feast each day from the foods you love the most. It is possible to wake up rested and excited about the day. It is possible to be creative and fulfilled with the days endeavors and be stronger and healthier each day instead of older and fatter. Life is a miracle and anything is possible. It’s worth a try. You can always go back. If you do not believe these things are possible, then of course it appears that way. Yet myself and everyone at the Garden are living, breathing, examples that this IS possible. That is the perspective we embody at The Garden of Eden.