Commercial Xmas


“Christmas cards in general and the whole vast commercial drive called ‘Xmas’ are one of my pet abominations: I wish they could die away and leave the Christian feast unentangled. Not of course that even secular festivities are, on their own level, an evil: but the laboured and organised jollity of this – the spurious childlikeness – the half-hearted and sometimes rather profane attempts to keep us some superficial connection with the Nativity – are disgusting.”

C.S. Lewis
Collected Letters, Volume III, page 686

Posted by Picasa

8 comments:

Rachel LeAnn said...

cYou have the III Volume already? Mine's still on order... As of page 957 of volume II, Lewis has only once hinted at his soon to be overt dislike of Christmas correspondence.

One thing I found interesting so far is how casually he abbreviates to Xmas and Xtian in almost all letters. Today we seem more desperate to keep it in there on principle.

Roger R. said...

Arrived the day I made the post Rachel... it's VERY large!

(RR)

Rachel LeAnn said...

rHurrah!!! I just finished Volume II yesterday. Very excited for him to have a little Joy in his life...(realized that was a very bad unententional pun!)

I was thinking earlier this week about how much I dislike 'Minto.' I get unaccountably angry at her for limiting Lewis in every chance at a holiday (except brief ones) and international speaking engagments. Do we villify her becuase we love Lewis so much? Likewise, I can't quote the passage, but the gist of it is that he is "bearing his just desserts" in caring for her - presumably referring to their relationship before his conversion. But did all his hardships and frustrations actually form the character of the Lewis that wrote such amazing apologetics and fiction?

Rachel LeAnn said...

Oh, I have to tell you: I touched a letter by Lewis today. Really.

I went into my local bookstore, Inklings, to check on the status of my Volume III - (sold out and backordered) - and as a consolation, the owner walked out with a little white envelope, hand addressed in a plastic baggie, and took out the letter. It was typed in 1954, signed by Lewis (or more likely by Warnie - it has his numbering system on the corner), and begins, "Thank you very much for you kind letter..."

Anonymous said...

As an archivist, all I can say is get the blessed thing out of that little plastic baggie and into something archivally sound!

Anonymous said...

And into a repository is even better, if it has any particular archival merit other than its provenance.

I will stop harrumphing now. :)

Roger R. said...

Just reading (in volume III) of Minto's last illness... and her transfer to a 'nursing home'. Jack still visited every afternoon, but felt 'a great load had been lifted'. BUT Warnie's alcoholism was a great worry for him at the same time. AND the first of the Narnia books was in proof (and discussed at the Bird & Baby by the Inklings).

Rachel LeAnn said...

Do you think Lewis really did misunderstand Warnie's problem? In the 50's I suppose that one would be aware of the acoholism, but not as focused on the depression causing it. (As per Warnie's note in Volume II that indicated that he went through cycles of low spirits, followed by drugs and alcohol)