Have we all gone insane?
A few days ago I dashed into a nearby variety store for a few household necessities. Regardless of how busy our lives are, there are some times you just have to stop and shop. Buddy doesn’t like to run out of toilet paper. I reminded him that the pilgrims managed without it. He wasn’t amused.
On that late October day, the temperature outside was unusually toasty. As the double glass doors of the store sprung open, I was greeted by loud Christmas music and a swaying Santa Claus.
What happened to Thanksgiving? Oh, I remember. Only the grocery stores commercialize Turkey Day. There is little economic motive for other establishments to promote a national day of giving thanks. But Christmas hoop-la already? To quote the famous commentator, Charlie Brown, “Good grief.”
I love the real Christmas season. My mother did too. She even birthed me on Christmas Eve. Those nostalgic memories of childhood Christmases are probably an exaggerated figment of my imagination. They were good, but never perfect. The anticipation was always greater than the day of the tree.
As a parent, I tried to create that same utopian experience for my children. Some Christmases were better than others. Each year, as I put away the decorations, I promised that next year would be different. Simpler.
Buddy and I have even considered going away in early December, maybe even out of the country, until after January 1. So much work, anxiety and expense could be avoided that way.
Of course, the real meaning of Christmas is important to Buddy and me. Yet, historians tell us that Jesus wasn’t really born on December 25th. Reality is that the birth of Christ should be celebrated all year long, not just on some man-made calendar date.
Will Christmas find us on some deserted island, far from the hustle and bustle that has already begun? That is doubtful. There is always next year or the hope of it.
In the meanwhile, the guest closet is full of items I have picked up all during the year. Nothing expensive, but quite a pile all the same. Toys, shirts, gimmicky things. Same-O. Same-O.
All I really want for Christmas is my family together. A good meal. A little laughter. Unhurried time. Fond reminiscing. If Christmas is the only time to conveniently do that, then bring it on. It is coming anyway.