Monday, December 19, 2016

My Christmas Message.

You know, I'm starting to lose my Christmas spirit. It's been happening to me bit by bit over the last few years. And while I should be awash with the joyfulness of the Yuletide season, instead I 've become rather jaded by the sight of inflatable Santa's huffing and puffing on lawns all over my area. During the day,before these plastic, holiday decorations are inflated to their full glory, they resemble colored garbage bags strewn across the homeowners yard. It gives the neighborhood a sort of "white trash" quality. And that's not a good thing.

Another reason for my lack of enthusiasm for Christmas is the retail industry, that greedy,profit mongering money machine. It used to be that Christmas advertising began the day after Thanksgiving; a tradition that remained steadfast for many a decade. Now, the retailers begin their assault on the American wallet(or pocketbook if you're female) following Halloween. Some entrepreneurs have gone as far as pushing Christmas ads back to late September! Is it any wonder many of us are feeling a serious drop in the Holiday spirit? The retail industry has sucked the magic and the warmth right out of Christmas. Tis the season to spend money. Spend a wad of cash. Fa La La La.

Maybe it's just me, but I've come to the conclusion that a lot of people out there equate Christmas with getting a shit load of gifts. And while giving and receiving presents is a part of the holiday tradition, Christmas is also a time of visiting friends and relatives, talking and laughing, making toasts and enjoying each others company. Oh,and let's not forget the array of food shared by everyone at the holiday table. I've got to tell you, put all of these components together and Christmas day doesn't get much better than this.

One of my best Christmas memories as a child was when my Godparents and their children would come over on Christmas day. Actually, I have four Godparents, Donald and Jody Schneckenberger,  Donald's younger brother Kenny and his wife June.  It's kind of a long story, so suffice to say I'll tell you the whole shebang at another time. A day or two later, we would visit Kenny and June at their house, then around New Years Eve we'd hang out at Donald and Jody's. Now that was a really festive time! This went on for a number of years until my parents got divorced. That was the year no one showed up to our house on Christmas Day. It was the worst Christmas I ever had. Although I received some nice presents from my Mom and Dad, my Godparents presence,a vital part of Christmas for me, was missing. It was if my family and myself had suddenly developed the bubonic plague.

I heard later on that they felt uncomfortable about my parents divorce, so they thought it best not to come over. But still, I could not shake the feeling that something had been taken away from me. When I got my licence, I did go over during the Yuletide holidays to visit my Godparents,but it was never the same.

On the other hand, when it comes to thinking of Christmas strictly as a day when presents of all shapes and sizes are due them, my ex-wife's nieces Sara and Annie take the prize. On this supposedly festive, religious day; avarice reared it's ugly head as these two girls judged their gifts by how big the box was and how expensive the present appeared to be. Most of the time Sara and Annie complained unendingly since these presents did not please their high falutin' tastes, which turned a supposedly pleasant day into a bitch and gripe fest.

When my ex-wife Bari and I later discussed their ungrateful behavior, she'd dismiss the entire incident saying with an indulgent chuckle," Oh, Sara and Annie are just being typical little girls." I always considered them to be a couple of miserable, malcontented brats who needed to be told that Christmas gifts were not their birthright and that they should be appreciative of the presents bestowed upon them.

A few years later,when Sara was sixteen, everyone in the family pitched in to buy Miss Prissy an expensive white leather coat. Did Sara appreciate the gift? Hell no! She complained that the coat wasn't stylish enough.  Bari shrugged off Sara's behavior as "Simply being a  typical teenager."  Bari was the indulgent sort of Aunt whom I half suspected if her precious nieces poured gasoline on a homeless person and then set them on fire, she'd think they were just being mischievous little girls. In her eyes Sara and Annie could do no wrong.

Another thing that has always bugged me is when people, who during the course of the year don't say as much as hello to you or are rude and dismissive, suddenly become all smiles and congeniality during the Christmas Season. Then, after New Years Day, they revert back to their sullen, unfriendly selves. Why can't they be friendly and joyful the whole year long and not for only a couple of weeks? Just a thought.

What I'm saying is: Christmas is a time of celebration. It's a time of people coming together. A time of forgiveness,  A time of merriment and happiness. Let's all try to remember that and one day perhaps we'll effectively remove the soulless, commercial aspect from this Holiday of peace and love. That would truly make the world a better place.