to the Holidaysby
past weekend I’m driving around performing some of my routine housekeeping chores
when I am struck dumbfounded by the sight of Christmas decorations already in
place at one of the local malls close to my house. |
Now, I don’t know
about you, but I suspect the majority of us are just looking for a few weeks of
peace and quiet after having been subjected to almost a full year of election
diatribe by all forms of the news media. This year it seemed to occupy our collective
minds to the point where most of us were little more than zombies on Election
Day. We stumbled our ways into the booths with one thought on our minds….’must
get this finished.’ Our state was fortunate in some regard since the outcome here
was never in doubt. Some voters in the so called ‘swing states’ had non stop radio
and television advertising and up to twenty pieces of campaign literature sent
to them each day. God save us all.
So, here we are fresh from the polling
booths, ready to settle down for a few weeks of relative calm before the storm
of the holidays and what happens? Why, they move the holidays up so they start
advertising earlier. I’m brain dead after Labor Day, Halloween, National Elections…now
we go directly to Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year…. give me a break…. I bet
there are folks in prison having more fun than we are.
This morning’s paper
blares a headline…”Only seven weeks until Christmas.” Seven weeks? That’s just
around the corner. No time to waste, no time to dawdle, certainly no time to rest.
We’ve got to drag our old weary bodies out into the malls and start the holiday
process over again. I’m not finished with July 4th and Labor Day. I’m not ready
for garland and ribbons and stringing lights on the balcony, much less trying
to find the one bulb in the string of lights that causes the entire string to
Pray tell me this. We have put men on the moon. We have sent
rockets to Mars and the outermost parts of our solar system. Why can’t we have
a string of lights that work even if one bulb doesn’t cooperate? I truthfully
believe this is a major conspiracy on the part of the Christmas light association
to deprive us, no better yet disenfranchise (have you heard this word more than
you want?) us for the enjoyment of Christmas. I despise, I hate, I loathe dragging
those boxes out of the attic each and every year to sit down and spend hours untangling
only to find that the thousands of bulbs absolutely refuse to glow simply because
one bulb is on the fritz. What kind of a world is this we live in?
certain as I sit here and write this article, somewhere in this country men are
hard at work cutting down little trees and arranging them in huge stacks to be
sent to the far corners of this country within the next few weeks. There they
will be stood up and arranged on thousands of small lots waiting for the next
sucker like me to come along and pay good money for one before they are sold out.
The tradition then states that we drive this two-month-old dead piece of shrubbery
into our living rooms where we stick it into a bucket of water and somehow expect
it to revive. At the same time we are clogging our collective vacuums with pine
needles trying to stay ahead of a losing game. The same mentality requires us
to keep each and every Christmas ornament made by any of our children or their
children and sometimes the children of neighbors until the end of time.
of my children’s earlier creations are somewhat abstract and require a certain
amount of license to even consider that they were actually made by a human being.
Only the Mother knows for certain that her child made this one and was his first
attempt using glue, glitter, tissue paper and a clothespin. How she can see the
Virgin Mary in this is simply beyond my ability, but then again perhaps I am being
entirely too critical.
An old poem once had the line in it…”Ours
is not to reason why….” Can it be that this must be the attitude we have to adopt
when it comes to our annual activities? As sure as the elections roll around,
so does Thanksgiving and Christmas. Perhaps I should quit fighting it every year
and just get into the mood before it’s too late and I have to think about Valentines
© Peary Perry
From North America >
November 10 , 2004 column