One week and half before Thanksgiving, Tessa and I were driving across town. Sighing deeply, the ten-year-old shook her head and informed me she was just about fed up with people jumping the gun with the decorative lights. Not that they aren’t pretty, but a brightly-lit nativity next door to a pumpkin display was more than she could take. In case you have never met one, a child coming up on Christmas is greedier than Wall Street. This one told me things are out of control. It’s official. The world has lost its mind.
First of all Christmas has become a badly behaved guest. Purporting to be “the most wonderful time of the year” you invite him for December and he shows up in October. He kicks Halloween out of the house and steamrolls poor Thanksgiving who is quietly hanging on trying to celebrate family and contentment. If the Fourth of July puts away the cannons we might as well give up and relocate to North Pole with the elves.
Then there are the parties. We have one annual commitment that makes us all crazy. It is the usual, not optional, predictable bad chain of events that everyone hates but is too intimidated to blow off. While all these events are less than entertaining, this one is special. The invitation arrives with the expected pot luck requests and an invoice. Required to attend please don’t forget your cash fee for party hall rental and Santa sack full of mandatory gifts. PS No cocktails allowed…ho…ho…ho.
How’s the shopping working for you? Don’t lie. You waste valuable family time in front of the fire, driving like a kamikaze and maneuvering the mall like an Army Ranger all for the privilege of buying a half-priced, over-priced, stinky candle for nutty Aunt Meg, who hates to dust and doesn’t want it anyway. Her contribution to the insanity is forgetting which stinky candle you gave her last year and wrapping it up before she gives it back. On second thought she may not be so nutty after all.
The psychology of this event is so pervasive even my nephews have been caught in the net and they’re Jewish. Poor Jesus. God sacrifices divinity to live as a man. Now that was a Christmas gift. Somewhere along the line we allowed that concept to be swallowed up by obnoxious decorations, ridiculous expectations and an obligation to spend money we don’t have. The spiritual message drowned in diamonds, cell phones and video games along time ago. Bummer dude. I wish I could make it up to Him for His birthday. Maybe we should all get together and get Him that brand new car.