‘Tis the Season to Be ...
Christmas is coming-there can be no doubt about that. Stores everywhere have their displays up, and two-thirds of the commercials on television feature yuletide messages. What I have noticed about people’s responses is, you either love and embrace the season or...let’s see now. I dislike using the word “hate”; it’s more that people disdain Christmas.
I am someone who cherishes this time of year for all of the usual reasons. Growing up in a big family, it was one time of the year when one and all celebrated in harmony. Of course, Mama required that we all pitch in and help clean the house from top to bottom, and that was not necessarily a lot of fun. But we also knew that when the job was finished, the next step was to get the tree. In our house the tree did not arrive until the twenty-second or the twenty-third, because Mama felt that the tree should stay up until the 6th of January, long past our return to school.
I can understand people who are overwhelmed by the additional requirements of contending with Christmas, while balancing the task of trying to cope with small children. After all, an individual can only do so much before pure exhaustion takes over. I think it is more that some people just get annoyed by the omnipresent trappings of the season, thinking to themselves that commercialism and the need to make a buck, force them to partake in a process that does not match what they would like to see. I feel bad for these people, because they probably would participate on some level, but that to have it rammed down their gullets, leaves them shaking their heads in frustration.
As for the commercial aspects of Christmas, any given approach to gift-giving is based on the economics of each household’s capabilities. For most there are given limitations to what can be done, but often those limitations are exceeded and the result is an economic burden. That leads to additional resentment and I can understand that. However, there are ways to get around this difficulty if one simply looks at the picture with an open perspective.
Saving for Christmas over the course of the year is one option; toning down the extravagance of Christmas is another. One additional strategy is to go with a home-made theme, instead of a commercial one, or using some combination of the above. Baking cookies, or making candy that can be gift-wrapped and presented to others is a viable way of contending with gift-giving. Even if the recipient is not into sweets, there is always the option of redirecting the goodies to someone else who is. Receiving a portion of home-made fudge certainly floats my boat, even if I only partake in a piece or two, before making it available to visitors or family.
As for Christmas music and films, I adore them. Of course it ties back into my upbringing, but I have maintained the custom throughout my lifetime. Last year I set a personal record by watching nine different versions of “A Christmas Carol,” and I will exceed that number this year, since Annie discovered Henry Winkler’s “An American Christmas Carol,” something she knew would turn me on.
I can already hear you saying, “Why would you want to watch the same story ten times?” All I can say is that I do not watch them all in one day. Rather, I spread them out during the entire season, and many I watch while working an assortment of jigsaw puzzles. I have a half-dozen or so that I work each year, that have Holiday themes.
So I guess there is a method to my madness. I am hopelessly addicted to Christmas and all of the trimmings that accompany it. Call me twisted-call me obsessed; just call me in time for Christmas dinner. I will be ready with bells on.