Oh God…it’s Christmas again. It seems like yesterday it was September, and now there’s suddenly bright-colored lights on people’s houses, and the annual repulsive Lexus-with-a-red-bow advertisements on TV. It doesn’t help that in Florida, December looks like September. (looks like February looks like April…)
Once again, folks are mercenary and un-festive. Hasn’t changed from two years ago when I wrote about it. Thanksgiving came and went, and took Black Friday with it. Once again, people camped outside BigBox — insert whatever store name, it doesn’t really matter – for days to get a good deal on their whatever. Once again, there were the stories of massive crowds scaring store workers. Although to think of it…I didn’t hear of any trampling deaths or pepper spray this year. Maybe the riots in Ferguson toned down the annual shopping violence.
And so, now it’s Christmas time. Another year of distasteful, mercenary greed. More ads about getting “More Christmas.” How? Buy it. Ads about the perfect Christmas. How? Buy it. Ads about the perfect present. How? Yup.
One more time, the television is devoid of local charities making their annual plea for holiday donations. Empty of local events to celebrate the season. This weekend we tried to go to a holiday craft bazaar and support a friend of mine…it had been cancelled due to lack of interest by the exhibitors. I might not like hearing the local Father Fred or Goodwill Inn pleading with people to help the less fortunate, but it contributes to the traditional feeling of the season, and honestly, when is a more prominent season of giving?
So, we’re trying. I spent several hours on the roof hanging festive lights, and we have all our Christmas decorations inside the house. We found a tree lot selling Michigan Christmas trees in Florida, so we’re getting our tree from them this coming weekend. Our little ones (youngest are eight, geez, they’re growing up) are excited about Scarlett the Elf on the Shelf who appeared last week…and has actually remembered that she has to move every night since.
I did just hear about the semi-annual Holiday In-Law Fight, though, so that kind of helps. Seems like an aunt texted a mother-in-law about what to do if a cousin killed her. So the mother-in-law and an uncle went screaming over to their house, and a gun was pulled, and the 11-year-old kid disarmed his dad, and the police were called, and eight of them showed up, and the cousin was cuffed, but then the aunt denied everything so he was let go again. Good times, I can almost hear the banjo playing from here.
Still, even with that tradition, it just doesn’t feel…right. No festivities, no charities, no snow (yes I said it). It really feels like a test of character. Everybody SAYS that Christmas isn’t about the trappings or the trimmings — it’s a feeling inside, it’s a spirit, it’s immaterial. But when the rubber meets the road it’s really hard to really kindle a Christmas Spirit without some outside fuel.