Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The Case For Decorations

Dennis Prager makes a great case in favor of decorating for holidays patriotic and religious. I agree with many of his points, but I think it's healthy for a society to have people who don't decorate. Such people provide a needed counterpoint in the dialogue over social values.

Ideally, people who decorate for holidays and participate in holiday traditions do so out of a heartfelt desire to celebrate. It never takes long, though, for sincere expressions of holiday spirit to degenerate into trends and competitiveness that have nothing to do with the holiday. For every person who decorates his house with Christmas lights in honor of the Star of Bethlehem, there are three or four at least who decorate their houses with lights because they don't want to be the only one on their block who doesn't. The societal impulse toward homogeneity takes over, and once again the meaning of the holiday is lost in the rush to display its symbols.

People who refuse to get caught up in the mad rush to conform, who take the air out of self-inflated conspicuous celebrators, are a needed counterweight to this bug feature of human nature.