Christmas at intervals
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Do you see what I did there? I completely refused to take a side in the so called “War on Christmas.”
I actually think there’s a middle ground between being a complete Scrooge and wanting it to be Christmas year round. Moreover, contrary to what the movies tell us, I think the holidays have as many meanings as there are people.
My own experience ran the gamut.
One year, all I asked for was a silver bell, though of course I got more than that. Another time, I absolutely had to have the same playhouse as the neighbors. My father, I found out later, drove to Grand Junction and back after work Christmas Eve for the grand reveal.
I spent a Christmas in the Intensive Care Unit at Valley View Hospital, trying to keep my spirits up while my brother battled pneumonia (he pulled through). I also spent one on a remote ranch in Wyoming, exchanging homemade and rustic gifts under a self-cut Christmas tree while the thermometer registered 40 below.
The 20s are a strange time for holidays.
Many traditions clearly revolve around children, and there’s not much for a nondrinker to do in the gap between being a child and having one.
I still generally spend Christmas with my family, but many of the kids I went to school with aren’t coming home. My annual Festivus party grows smaller every year. When Steve’s Guitars doesn’t have a New Year’s Eve show, I’ve been known to simply go to bed early.
Most people I know seem to have found a tradition that brings meaning to their holidays.
I’m confident I’ll get there, too, through trial and error if nothing else.
The only real risk I have of ending up a grinch is if Christmas continues its inexorable march into November and beyond.
It’s not even the impact on other holidays that bugs me.
I get the sense most people who celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the solstice and the like have long since learned to accept the preeminence of Christmas in this country far beyond the religious component.
While I’m not quite ready to concede Thanksgiving, I could always celebrate in October with my Canadian relatives, and so far Halloween has proven capable of holding onto the holiday aisle.
No, the problem with having a month or more of Christmas is that there’s just not enough to go around.
There are probably 12 days worth of carols and maybe three weeks worth of television and film specials.
Beyond that, we’re either subjected to mind numbing repetition or even worse attempts to put a new twist on things (Michael Buble’s “Santa Buddy” is a prime example).
Pundits and politicians may think that political correctness is killing Christmas. It looks to me like it’s suffocating under its own weight.
The holidays are a special time. Let’s keep it that way.
Will Grandbois didn’t bother ranting about commercialism because he’s too young to remember it any other way. He can be reached at 384-9105 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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