Well, the count down begins. A couple of more days and it’s Xmas Eve, then a few more and it’s New Year’s Day. We spend the last couple of weeks of December just counting down. Perhaps wasting the days in-between. Not paying attention to the anniversary of the first powered flight, the first day of winter or the invention of typesetting. John’s wife’s birthday passes and few acknowledge it, she is one of the unlucky ones that many times received birthday and Christmas presents on the same day or worse, combined Merry Xmas and Happy Birthday on the same note on the package. Her birthday is on the 29th.
I used to play the game and give and spend and put up trees and decorate with lights and throw a dollar in the bell ringers pot each time I crowded my way into the discount store to save a couple bucks. Stew with my wife what to get little Billie, Sallie and grown child Mickie this year and worry if we got the right thing or have given enough cash. We gather together the few times a year we all can stand each other, to gorge on a Christmas meal that takes 2 days and 6 hours to prepare and 20 minutes to consume.
Let’s drop the facade. The season has totally lost its meaning. But every year the precious few that believe and those billions of others that really believe nothing but merchandising, try to hand crank some meaning into these few days. Face it! We kids are excited because of Santa Claus and we never grow out of it. Give me, give me, give me and I want I want I want. Makes me sick!
For a few years, during my formative childhood, I watched my folks try to make something of this Holiday. Really! Our stockings were hung up on the backs of chairs, not fire places and they were socks, real everyday socks that we wore the rest of the year. Xmas morning we would have an orange, if it fit, a toothbrush and little sample tube of toothpaste, a little AAA battery flashlight, probably with the drug store name or our gas station’s brand on it, a few un-shelled salted peanuts and a few pieces of hard candy. It was fun, I’d like to say that we were delighted but we all knew it was slim pickings. Our gift was from our Aunt and Uncle (clothes or a book which I really did cherish and appreciate) and maybe something homemade from my brother and sisters that we made in school.
Our mother was not evangelical but she was the most spiritual person I have ever known, we were quietly taught the true meaning of Christmas. So we knew what the Holiday meant. That’s how I think of Christmas today.
The earliest I remember, about 8 years old, it seemed it had nothing to do with what our Mother taught us. I looked forward to Xmas but I was relieved the next day when it was over. Even that young, a child that was glad Xmas was over. The pressure was off the folks. The only thing left was after New Years, going back to school and the teacher asking each of us to stand up and tell the class the best thing we got for Xmas. I hope teachers today are more sensitive than that. There are a few near adults trapped in children’s bodies in your class. A new shirt and socks was really great to have, and was the best but not something that compares to the others trains, dolls and bicycles. So I lied about getting an imaginary football or ice skates or sled. Probably something I was reading about in the book I were given.
So yes, Baa Humbug!! We can’t fight it anymore than we can fight daylight saving time. We just roll with it, it is that time of year to give what you can, pass on the good thoughts if you have any and just be kind to others. And mostly remember, don’t disillusion the kids about Santa Claus before they are at least in second or third grade.