Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Holiday Spirits

This warms the cockles of my heart.

Diana Rowland’s husband bought her the dragons as a birthday gift a few years ago.

The inflatable lawn ornaments, black and red, purple and green, were the epitome of cool to the former police officer and morgue worker, who is now a writer of sci-fi books.

And after what Rowland says was a smashing debut one Halloween, she decided to set the dragons up again for Christmas, outfitting them for the holiday season with garland, Santa hats and blue shawls meant to evoke biblical stories. The neighborhood loved them, she said. And she did, too.

This year was scheduled to be the fourth that the dragons would uneventfully grace her yard for Christmas.

But then an anonymous letter came in the mail.

“YOUR DRAGON DISPLAY IS ONLY MARGINALLY ACCEPTABLE AT HALLOWEEN,” it said. “IT IS TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE AT CHRISTMAS. IT MAKES YOUR NEIGHBORS WONDER IF YOU ARE INVOLVED IN A DEMONIC CULT.”

It continued.

“PLEASE CONTINUE REMOVING THE DRAGONS. MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND HELP YOU TO KNOW THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS.”

It sounds more like the anonymous neighbor is the one involved with a demonic cult: one that demands that everyone else follow their religion or face judgment.

Rowland did what any normal person would do in 2018; she posted the angry letter on social media.

“Our dragon holiday display got fan mail!” she wrote on Twitter, posting a photo of both the letter, and, it must be acknowledged, the dragons somewhat demonically lit up at night.

But in regards to the question of what to do about the dragons, she wavered for a moment.

Had Rowland chosen to take the dragons down, her actions surely could have been explained by what is commonly referred to as the “holiday spirit:” the idea that people somehow become better versions of themselves during the last week of December.

But perhaps the holiday is misunderstood, or worse, misconstrued, by the writers of television advertisements and holiday cards. For in truth, there are thousands of experiences like Rowland’s out there for every Christmas miracle.

So Rowland decided to go another route, which she again announced on Twitter, a response she said to the “judgy-mcjudgyface neighbor,” who had written her.

“I have added more dragons,” she wrote.

Good for her.  Dragons are one of the few mythical creatures that have global appeal: they show up in just about every culture’s story-telling, from Wales (look who’s on the flag) to China and everywhere in between.  They can be good, like Eragon, or bad, like Smaug, but nowhere are they considered “demonic” unless you’re one of those people that thinks that anything that doesn’t worship the Baby Jesus and his televangical minions “demonic.”  And dragons have about as much to do with the Christmas as Santa and his flying reindeer.  (Wouldn’t it be amazing to sub in dragons for reindeer?  For one thing, they wouldn’t need Rudolph.  Who needs a red nose when you can exhale fire?)

So decorate your lawn with mythical creatures for a couple of weeks.  It would go very nicely with the other myths, like the creche and angels.

3 barks and woofs on “Holiday Spirits

  1. I live in an area where there are lots of Seventh Day Adventists and they won’t let their kids celebrate Halloween because doing so would instantly turn them all into demons. I guess I should respect their beliefs but I laughed out loud when one of them tried to explain that to me.

  2. She should leave the Christmas dragons up to join the huge one in the Chinese New Year parade. Ah so . . .

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