Monday, November 29, 2010

"The holidays"

Thanksgiving is behind us, yet again, which leaves "the holidays" looming ahead. I still call it “Christmas,” but do try to be PC when in a group or in written correspondence because everyone knows that not everyone celebrates Christmas. But I mean, really, isn’t Christmas almost a secular holiday at this point?

It’s one huge marketing ploy, which seems to be intensifying every year. The words Black Friday and Cyber Monday are so prevalent, aren’t they? I could hardly believe how many Cyber Monday emails awaited me this very morning.

And it’s a bit scary how much the financial analysts rely on the amount of dollars spent during these two singular days to predict doom, gloom, or the nation’s modest financial recovery. Of course the ensuing days until December 25 are important as well. Get out there and spend, spend, spend is the message that I hear.

It’s all is a bit sickening; so much money spent on so much crap that so many people don’t really need.

I try to get on this train, I really do. And cognitively I’m there, I just wrote the sentence above and I do believe it. The season’s excess, frantic pace and downright gluttony don’t jive with my general values. But here is the truth: I enjoy “the holidays.” Quite a lot, actually.

I love Christmas cards. I know they are on their way out, like printed books and magazines, but we’ve got another decade, I’m guessing, and I plan to send and enjoy them each and every year until they’re extinct.

I love filling the stockings, I love selecting the perfect gift, I love the extra parties and spiked egg nog, and secret santas and the evening living room solely lit by the tiny white lights of the Christmas tree.

I love the traditions I’ve kept from my childhood and the new ones I’m forming with my own family.

It doesn’t make any sense, this thinking it’s all a material nightmare while feeling the holiday joy. How can I be disgusted while simultaneously engaging in, and downright enjoying, the season’s festivities and frivolity?

I'll take comfort in the realization that I can admit that I have a problem. I can cross step one off my list.

Cartoon by Randy Glasbergen:


Me, You, or Ellie said...

I'm trying to be brave about Christmas this year, but I refuse to use the term "Black Friday" and I'm not even sure what Cyber Monday is. I'm not trying to be sanctimonious or naive but I really do not get the whole waiting-in-line-in-the-middle-of-the-night-for-the-electronics-store-to-open. When it's not even December yet.

We're still in full Thanksgiving regalia here in our home, which is just how I like it.

And I think you *can* feel both, Beth. Resentful of the material nightmare while feeling the holiday joy. I think they call that the Spirit of the Christmas Conundrum.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

I hear you, Beth. The Christmas stuff has inundated stores since before Halloween, it's ridiculous. I think the key is to let it just drift over you. Some people do really thrive on the retail aspect of the holidays, good for them and they should have at it. If it means s (slightly) better economy and more competitive prices for the things we do need to shop for, then good for us! I find that the older my kids get, the less pressure I feel to make just the right purchases, and it ends up working out that I find better gifts when I need them.

I can't believe it's only a few weeks away, truly. December?!


Pat said...

You are just Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim rolled all into one!

Tiny Tim triumphs so that is OK

Love, Mom

ho ho ho in Central PA said...

my sentiments you must be right!

ps: my word verification is "blesess" which is what you count after a few drinks this holiday season.

Ariel said...

I'm with ya,Beth! It's the spirit of "giving",not"spending"!