Ok, I’ll tell you what we did this weekend if you promise not to laugh or give out to me. You see, my partner’s brother, thinking he was doing us a favour, took our full set of Christmas decorations out of storage at his mother’s house and dumped them in the middle of our living room. The smaller children in the house went to work on us incessantly, repeatedly asking when we could put up the tree, which is artificial so can take a month in a corner not far from a radiator. By the time I got home from work on Friday, a decision had been taken that it would go up this past weekend. I mildly pointed out that it was, like, the middle of November, but I could feel the wind was not blowing in my direction. In Ireland, without the buffer of Thanksgiving, there is little to prevent Christmas from seeping in once Halloween is over.
My New England Yankee upbringing just this side of halfway through the 20th century colors my ideal vision of the immanent season. My adult beliefs are not the same as my childhood ones, but the convention of having my family around me laughing, loving, sharing and interacting in a way that Frank Capra (“It’s a Wonderful Life”) would approve of remains a constant.
I’m sure you have your own ideals that could be similar or wildly different, but being together with family, extended family, and friends seems to be a universal theme, if not completely unanimous. (What is?) The parties, the preparation, the shopping, the school plays and recitals, the shopping, the meeting up with people you haven’t seen all year, getting the house in order, the shopping and, of course, the shopping.
Which brings us to another theme of the season. Is there any other event that invites us to consider how affluent we feel compared to the rest of the world around us? I’ve had good years and I’ve had bad years. Everyone you know can tell you money doesn’t matter, you can even believe it, mostly, but at least in the modern, western world it kind of does, especially this time of year. Why? Because you don’t want to disappoint anybody on Christmas morning. You have that picture in your head and that shopping list in your pocket and you want it all to come true. Let me tell you, if my older kids, even the one turning 21 in the spring, no longer believe in Santa, none of them have ever dared say it to my face. Who wants to take that chance? Lol.
I look at the Ten of Pentacles and I see that family, that security, that stability of that happy Christmas and, yes, that comfortable conformity. There’s a promise here that, even if things don’t look quite as well for you as you would like, you can now do something about it to make your home life more affluent and secure.