Before today, I have posted exactly once in a week. I miss NaBloPoMo. It forced me to write even when I had nothing to say. Probably some of my better posts were the ones when I had nothing to say. Nowadays, I talk myself out of writing if I don’t have anything Earth-shattering to share. Where’s the fun in that?
Lucky for you, today I will shatter the Earth. Actually, now I’m just going to shatter your hopes because I’ve really got nothing. I’ll give it a shot anyway.
Ahh, the holiday season is here, a time when we all remember the gift of a little baby of seemingly humble provenance that brought love and redemption to all mankind for ever after, and that baby’s love fills our hearts with joy as we sing up to the heavens our message of peace and hope.
Remember when you used to feel that way? Those were the days. Maybe some of you have been turbo-capitalist heathens from birth and so that little idealistic characterization of the Christmas spirit is an alien concept, but I come by my heathenry honestly, and I remember those heady days of innocence. The early years meant getting, within reason, exactly the presents I asked for and all I had to do was pick up a couple of scented, fruit-shaped erasers and a personalized pencil for my loved ones from the elementary school store. I bet the communist six-year-olds didn’t feel obligated to purchase a World’s Best Dad frisbee from a school-run "store" every holiday season. No, they probably had to stand in line at the Non-religious Government Holiday Dispensary for six hours only to end up with just half a frisbee and some vodka to stay warm. And they were happy.
But this isn’t about those commie urchins. This is about me. Between those days when Christmas was merely the unbridled joy of ripping some brightly colored paper to shreds beneath a ridiculously ornament-laden lighted tree and my current overwhelming disillusionment with the whole idea, there was a period of intense understanding and embracing of everything that Christmas stood for. I was drinking the Kool-Aid, er, wassail, and I was loving it. Yes it was non-alcoholic wassail, but between the ages of about 8 and 13, Christmas was everything both Hallmark and the baby Jesus said it should be. Giving and receiving gifts attained equal importance and carols, cookies and candlelight church services became the high point of the year.
See, I wasn’t always as bitter and skeptical as I am now. Somewhere along the way, Christmas became a hassle. Not only that, but at the same time that it surely must make at least a few people pause and reflect on their faith or their family or those in need, it also seems to bring out the worst in everyone else. Too many people tend to their holiday responsibilities purely out of obligation. We buy presents because we’re supposed to. Shit, if you’re like me you only ask for presents because you’re supposed to.
Anyway, this has all been said before by people even more curmudgeonly than I. I just wish Christmas could be more like Thanksgiving, when the emphasis is on spending time with those we love, eating insane amounts of delicious food, and reflecting on that for which we are thankful. That’s why I, using the power vested in me by me, declare Christmas a thing of the past, to be replaced by, and this is the official title, Thanksgiving II: Back For Seconds.