Friday, December 7, 2007

A holiday make-over

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.

Pow!

9 comments:

nancypearlwannabe said...

Your motion is seconded. Long live Thanksgiving II.

Just out of curiosity, can we build a pink river of slime? Because that seems to go over pretty well in sequels. Just sayin'.

Courtney said...

"The Commie Urchins" would be a good name for a band.

Mickey said...

Yes, we can have rivers of pink ectoplasm if we must.

Chris said...

Here here. Down with exchanging gifts, more food and family time. Meaghan and I are bit by bit persuading each family group that gathers to limit the gift exchange to buying for children only. Hey, it's a start.

nancypearl: In a bizarre twist of coincidence, somehow that post also made me think of Bill Murray -- but I was thinking of "Scrooged" not "Ghostbusters II". Nobody does smug-yet-amused like Bill Murray.

Allie said...

Thanksgiving II: Back For Seconds -- I love it. I'm all for it. But can we make Thanksgiving II a holiday where MEN spend the whole day in the kitchen making dinner? I mean, while we're changing things . . .

Julie said...

Do you think Meatloaf would make your theme song? It just seems appropriate.

And we only buy presents for immediate family at our house. The cousins & aunts & uncles are all just there for the family fellowship.

Noelle said...

With brilliant ideas like Thanksgiving II, you should post more than once a week.

Jacob said...

Kim's family's obsession with gift giving always baffled me. We got plenty of gifts for Christmas, but my parents always gave the impression that it was all rather uneccesary and I picked up on that. I don't think I got a birthday present after I turned 16 and finally got the keys to the 1986 GMC S-15 that had been sitting in the yard waiting for me to turn sixteen since I was 12. Regular gift-giving had ceased prior to that. It's not that my parents are cheap bastards, they just have enough sense not to waste money on excessive gift giving. I'd been trained to recognize love in more than just material expressions, so it never really bothered me. Personally, I'd just prefer to ignore the gift-giving portion of Christmas. I really don't have anything I need that someone can afford to gift me and I don't really need to be wasting money to give crap to people who should already know how I feel about them.

Meaghan said...

I've decided that I really just like giving gifts to the little kids in our family, Sadie (she actually enjoys pulling each stuffed animal out of the gift bag), the AIDS Resource kids and Chris. So that's who I'm spending my money on!

But now that I have read your post, I am REALLY liking the idea of Thanksgiving II! You're a frickin' genius! No more presents!