It’s almost Christmas. I know that because the calendar tells me so. Otherwise, the day might come and go without my noticing. Know why? Yes, besides my head being up my ass – There is a serious lacking in the holiday cheer department this year. Where’s the festive vibe? The good will toward men? I look down my street and there are no Christmas lights up. My husband and I went shopping this weekend for log furniture, toys, clothes, and dog food. That’s a wide variety of things and stores. And you know what? There was no Christmas music playing!
I get it. Money’s tight. News is bleak. Our cities are being run by emergency managers. It’s hard to find the joy when it seems like everywhere you look there is an obstacle. That’s why it’s so important to put up the freakin’ Christmas lights. So that when you wake up in the morning you’re greeted with Christmas spirit blinking outside your front porch. And as you leave in the morning and return from work at night, thoughts of credit card bills and furnaces going on the fritz are softened by giant yard snowmen and nativity scenes. You NEED good things to counter the bad things. Sometimes it’s hard to flip the switch in your mind and do a positive counter point. Holiday decorations flip the switch for you. You see them – you feel warm and fuzzy. So quit being a turd and hang up something that sparkles or jingles. Right now. Then come back.
I am just going to say it. We have become a collective Scrooge – Grinch – Burger Meister. All I can hear, inside my head and out among the masses, is how expensive everything is. How there was no time to put up Christmas lights and what a pain it is to take them down anyway. People who are experiencing tougher times than normal are consumed by that one fact. People who are doing well are validated by the money they are bringing in and feeling superior about it. Where’s the good will toward men in that?
I think my biggest beef right now is the Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays war. I’mma break it down for you right here. The holiday season spans from Thanksgiving through the new year. Christmas is A DAY. One day. We can stretch it to two days because we often celebrate Christmas Eve. When I say “Happy Holidays” on November 29th, I am not cutting Christ out of Christmas or catering to non Christian groups. I am hoping that you and yours will enjoy the whole season. I hope you eat lots of good food, get to enjoy time with your family, celebrate the year passing and get a good start on the new one. If I see you just before Christmas, at a Christmas party, or on Christmas day, I will say, “Merry Christmas.” Kapish?
Are there people trying to hijack the season? Highlight their own religion and customs? Create a more generic holiday scene? Probably. But mostly, people are just trying to be nice and spread good cheer. Think about this – what have you heard more in the last couple of months? People complaining about the verbage – “Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy New Year” OR actual Christmas tidings? I will answer for you that I have over heard a bajillion conversations and seen countless social media posts bitching about reserving the right to say “Merry Christmas” and about 5 actual season’s greetings. Think about that.
And don’t get me started on the billboards of Jesus saying, “I miss hearing you say MERRY CHRISTMAS.” That is SO stupid. As if our increasing commercialization of the day and gross obsession with money and material things at Christmas time was okay with Him as long as we said, “Merry Christmas.”
It’s true. People are not saying “Merry Christmas.” But they’re also not saying “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings” either. Their Christmas Spirit is kaput! But so is their Holiday Spirit! They’re exhausted, beat up, stressed out, and focused on all the wrong things.
Here’s an idea. Instead of bitching about the way someone ELSE celebrates the season and spreads their cheer – why not simply appreciate what they have offered you. And then offer some in return. Maybe even offer some forward.