I am what many people refer to as a purist. Many do not understand or know what a purist is so let me explain.
No, a purist is not a Puritan, although I have nothing against Puritans and lean heavily in their direction. After all, I think it is better to be radical in the right direction than radical in the wrong direction as many people are today. I think the Puritans are getting a bad rap today.
A purist, however, is someone who likes things just the way they are. No additives. No upgrades. No unnecessary changes. If my light bulb goes out, I want to change. That is the limit for change except maybe some of it that jingles in my pocket.
Have you ever noticed that once you are comfortable with a computer program and really like it, someone will upgrade it until it is a completely different program with no relationship to the one you love? I hate that. When you got something that works, do not try to fix it. That is one of the basic rules of life.
It is a rule I have been trying to explain to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage for years. I keep telling her I am not broken and therefore I do not need fixing. It has become the mission of her life to upgrade me. Can you imagine that? I love me the way I “are.”
Some people are more like soup than anything else. Anything and everything goes into the pot. Not me. I like to savor something in its own environment.
So, I am a purist in many regards, which can best be seen from my point of view in holidays. I like holidays but I do not like all of the upgrading and embellishments attached to every holiday you can think of except perhaps April 1. We know who celebrates that holiday.
I would like to enjoy a holiday sometime without all of the extras. At Christmas time I want to celebrate the purpose of Christmas, I have no idea what a Santa Claus with reindeer, and Frosty the Snowman have to do with Christmas. This is rather confusing to me. What are we celebrating at Christmas? If you follow the commercials, you have no idea what holiday is being celebrated.
For Easter, I would like to strip away all of the trappings, all of the hype and just celebrate it for what it is. What do the Easter bunny and the Easter egg have to do with Easter?
I would be open to having a holiday for the Easter bunny, another holiday for the Easter egg and if you want to get technical, a holiday for Santa Claus, one for Rudolph the red nose reindeer and a separate one for Frosty the Snowman. When you put it all together, it just is rather confusing to me.
I know who is in charge of these holidays. A holiday is not to celebrate but rather a holiday is to make money. Some people, and I will not mention any names, has never seen a holiday they did not want to make a buck. Maybe every holiday should be called “BuckDay,” where we celebrate and honor the almighty dollar.
One more holiday I would suggest is one with no commercials and no selling whatsoever. A holiday where you would be fined dearly if you bought anything. A holiday from buying would suit me just fine.
I know my critics will say that unless somebody buys something nobody makes anything. I have no problem with that. Wouldn't it be nice to have a holiday where that kind of thing was not front and center?
The value of the Easter bunny is how much money it can make for the person sponsoring the holiday.
I have seen a very interesting thing and I just cannot quite explain it. Just before the Easter holiday and leading up to it, all the Easter candy is at a premium price. Then, after Easter, this same Easter candy is at a hefty discount in the stores. What has changed?
Could it be that the older something gets the less it is worth?
Of course, I am beginning to feel that way myself, as I get older. (Thanks, Uncle Sam.)
As a purist, I would like to celebrate a holiday for once without all of the rigmarole and shenanigans. A holiday where nobody will pester me. A holiday where I can shut out the world and enjoy the comforts of home and family.
If I have not offended anybody up to now, let me take this a step further.
It would be nice to have a holiday when all media would shut down. No television. No radio. No telephone or cell phone. No Internet.
I know I am a radical, but I think it would be nice some time just to close out the world and remember the things that have value.
Even Jesus understood this in his time. “And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat” (Mark 6:31 KJV).
Therefore, I would like all of these things to hop along let me enjoy the things that really have value to me before I simply come apart.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores.