I woke in the middle of the night recently with an intense craving for Christmas. I could hear Bing Crosby crooning and taste the gravy slathered roast potatoes. All those childhood warm, fuzzy feelings I have tried so hard to repress in my adult life’s quest to rid myself of Catholic programming, failed me. I was maddeningly hankering after the whole package from the hanging of the stockings to the ritual gorging. I EVEN salivated at the mere thought of Brussels sprouts.
When I became semi-rational again, I realise part of this could be because this chemo cycle is going much better than the last one. The resultant feeling of well being is producing a kind of euphoric sense of good health. By extension, grabbing hold of life and celebration with friends and family is a time honoured way of embracing that. And nothing says enjoy life like a good old fashioned feast. Christmas being a much older amalgamation of various pagan festivities appeals to my need for ritual seizing the day.
The best fit though for my thirst for overdoing everything could be a festival Kat has been educating me, the Roman holiday of Saturnalia. Gift giving, naked carolling, role reversals, crazy overeating all sounds good to me. Well maybe not the naked carolling, especially in December. I wonder though if it is the real thing I want or just the idea of it.
Some studies suggest that people are happier planning a holiday than actually doing it. Perhaps my need for this is abstract and inspired by my social isolation. In reality organising and implementing a big ritual is stressful and never as good as in our imaginations where things go swimmingly. But maybe that’s about sharing the load, making it a truly community endeavour instead of a performance.
So who’s with me? Wanna put the Saturn back in Saturnalia..