And now I have to touch upon a very sad matter. There are in the modern world an admirable class of persons who do long for the old feasts and formalities of the childhood of the world.  William Morris and his followers shoed how much brighter were the dark ages than the age of Manchester.  Mr. W.B. Yeats frames his steps in prehistoric dances, but no man knows and joins his voice to the forgotten choruses that no one but he can hear.  Mr. George Moore collects every fragment of Irish paganism that the forgetfulness of the Catholic Church has left or possibly her wisdom preserved.  There are innumerable persons with eye-glasses and green garments who pray for the return of the maypole or the Olympian games.  There there is about these people a haunting and alarming something which suggests that it is just possible that they do not keep Christmas.

It is painful to regard human nature in such a light, but it seems somehow possible that Mr. George Moore does not wave his spoon and shout when the pudding is set alight.  It is even possible that Mr. W.B. Yeats never pulls crackers.

If so, where is the sense of all their dreams of festive traditions?  Here is a solid and ancient festive tradition still plying a roaring trade in the streets, and they think it vulgar.  If this is so, let them be very certain of this, that they are the kind of people who in the time of the maypole would have thought the maypole vulgar; who in the time of the Canterbury pilgrimage would have thought the Canterbury pilgrimage vulgar; who in the time of the Olympian games would have thought the Olympian games vulgar.  Nor can there be an reasonable doubt that they were vulgar.

-thus G.K. Chesterton

The problem with “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die,” is the “for tomorrow we die.”It is the justification.  Seizing a last few defiant gasps of happiness before the great dark is a lie.  Rejoicing now in anticipation of greater rejoicing later is the true rule of the universe.



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