BAH! BLOODY HUMBUG!
I am soooo glad it’s all over for another year! The worship of the Great God Commerce dials back till it’s just a dull roar.
What? Too much, too soon?
As the most fascinating man on Earth, I don’t always listen to the radio in the living room or the car, but when I do, I want to hear some classic rock and roll. This all-Christmas-songs, all-the-time, for 7 or 8 weeks, on all four locally available stations, gets old fast. Like, right after the second time Gramma Got Run Over By A Reindeer is played on the American Thanksgiving.
I turn the radio off, and start plugging CDs into my five-disc player. You’ll read about our cookie-making marathons. I need six hours of non-Christmas in my ear. We’ve got a half-dozen Rankin Family albums, and another half-dozen Jeff Foxworthy discs. Christmas is the only time of year we play them. Include some Jethro Tull and The Guess Who, and we’re good till New Years.
We went grocery shopping one day. Shortly after we entered, the Muzak started playing The Twelve Days of Christmas. With the ever-expanding twelve choruses, that song just goes On and On. I piled a hundred dollars worth of stuff into the cart, and they were still whining about rings and calling birds. We headed for the cashiers just as they finally came to an end. Apparently on a random mix, the next song up was….The Twelve Days of Christmas – by a different group. Check me out, quick, before I check-out on my own.
The streets and roads are back to being inhabited by just the usual batch of stupid incompetents. I can almost get where I’m going, because all the soccer-moms, who don’t know how to drive their soccer-mom-vans, aren’t plugging the streets and parking lots, and obscuring my sight-lines. Once, when the son was just learning to drive, I bitched (What a surprise!) about hating to be behind vans and pickups. Now that he drives regularly himself, he admitted the other day that he understands what I was upset about.
Christmas lights, that’s the least we can do to celebrate the season – literally the least we can do. An ego-stroking waste of electricity. There are two homes, side by side, somewhere in Connecticut, which both look like Chevy Chase’s, Christmas Vacation house, with the bearings on the power meter smoking from the RPMs. Each year, both owners added more and more lights, in an attempt to outdo each other. Finally, this year, sanity prevailed. One of the owners put up only one string of lights, forming an arrow, and the word, “Ditto!”
The Sikhs across the street look like a Las Vegas casino. I put up one little light-decorated wreath outside the downstairs powder-room window….and often forget to plug it in till nine or ten PM. With all the demons and gargoyles we have in the gardens, it’s a surprise we haven’t had carolling groups which included torches and pitchforks.
I really put the *cur* in curmudgeon. I’m not against giving presents or getting the family together for a visit and a meal. If it’s someone’s birthday, or anniversary, give a present. I just don’t want to be standing beside some guy while I’m just trying to buy a newspaper, and have his pants burn down because his credit card exploded. Want a “family meal?” Pick a day and invite the family over. Depending on the size of your family, it might be less stressful for everyone, to have smaller groups.
Too many people fall victim to the idea that they’re “obligated” to participate in this exercise in excess, and then feel overwhelmed, and somehow a failure. Something worth doing is not necessarily worth overdoing. This thing is getting out of hand. The best of intentions is producing the worst of results. It really is no wonder that other faiths, other countries and other cultures hate us. We could be so much more, with so much less.
Peace and love to you all, quietly, sincerely, without all the fuss.