Thursday, December 04, 2008

Bah Humbug?

You know how there are all those stories about how people are so much nicer at Christmas time than any other time of the year? And how someone, who wouldn't usually let you cut in line, or turn left, or give the homeless guy a dollar, did because the spirit of the season? Yeah, no so much this time around it seems. Blame it on the depressed economy or the hysteria of the election or exhaustion from Black Friday or whatever, but there are a lot of people out there trying to avoid Christmas altogether, which I think is sad.
I love Christmas. I really do.
And yes, the radio stations start playing carols a leetle too soon - believe me, before Thanksgiving is too soon.
And the stores go nuts trying to make us buy things and spend money and they start pushing Christmas as soon as Halloween is over - obsessive much? - but just because the world is ridiculously commercial doesn't mean we have to take the bait. There are a lot of activities scheduled in December and it feels like a ridiculous amount of pressure to be everywhere and do everything, but you know what? Last year I didn't send out Christmas cards...and I still have friends. So it's not as obligatory as my overactive brain would have me believe.
Of course there is the religious and moral meaning of Christmas - the real reason we give and celebrate and sing and put up lights - and that's important, no question. But. Even from the secular side there is a lot to enjoy about the season without maxing the credit cards to the hilt.
I like the snuggly feeling of Christmas, and that's very subjective I know, the family getting together - assuming you have a vaguely functioning one - the tree, the lights - I am amused by shiny, sparkly objects, sometimes the snow - if it comes and goes in a three day window and one of those days is Christmas Day - the hats, the hot chocolate - The Jungle doesn't get cool enough for hot chocolate often and I don't like warm drinks most of the time but December is okay - the cards with the inane newsletters and totally staged and/or Photoshopped pictures.
And the presents. I do love the presents, but not because it's all about me getting stuff - have you seen my house? I have enough stuff - but the getting for others, making it sometimes, finding out what they want and working it so they don't know what they're getting. One of the biggest letdowns for me is if I know what I'm getting before I open the wrapping. Childish? Maybe, but the anticipation is half the fun. Keeping good secrets from others and knowing they will like what you have spent your time going out to find makes Christmas morning less of a greed-fest.
As with so many things in life, attitude determines altitude. I thought that was the cheesiest phrase ever when I was twelve, but I have since learned it's validity. How I feel really does make or break my day, and I can change how I feel. So why not have a good day? Or a good season?

This is me, getting ready for Christmas.

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