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Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Rush to Christmas Begins

Okay, I confess.  I broke my vow.  In the face of overwhelming temptation, ease of access, and a lapse in self control, I went shopping on Black Friday.  Not just any shopping, I went Big Box retail.  I darkened the door of a Wal-Mart, a Target, Michaels, and others.  It was late in the afternoon, long after the 6am hordes had fallen aside to exhaustion, frustration, and the weight of 1000 door-buster specials.  There were next to no lines and the only worn faces were those of the store employees, looking as though they had been at work since 4am because, well, they had.    

In the tattered remains of the Friday morning orgy of present purchasing, I have to say it wasn't all that bad.  Found what supplies I needed, a gift or two, and made my way home.  I have to say I suppose that many writers look forward to their annual proclamations of holiday pity. The mandatory mandate that Christmas is all about material goods and that we have lost the "thing" that made Christmas special, if we ever really had it in the first place. 

I am certain that the Bethlehem K-Mart had a blue light special holiday sale starting on the day after Thanksgiving year 0001.  Perhaps they even offered authentic looking Christmas Stars for the tops of whatever trees were the "in-thing" back then.  We really shouldn't be annoyed anymore by what the holiday has become, or surprised by it.
Waging a war against the commercialism of the Holiday, and the irony that a day devoted
to celebrating love, peace, and goodwill toward man is all about things that are so far removed it is seemingly pointless.  We have people who kill in the name of god because they are angry about killing; we have people who are "leaders" who mock the less fortunate, the sick, and the weak and the disabled and then claim to be religious. We have ministers who condone, promote, and celebrate hatred for people they do not understand. 

In the shadow of that "holy" light the world has gotten far crazier than is indicated by the number of wrapped boxes people obsessively pile under their Christmas tress.  Perhaps hoping that quality of gift can make up for quality of life or love.  Not really shocking at all is it that the meaning of things has gotten a little off track. 

One of my favorite things about the Holiday was the initial reason I ventured out on that darkest of Fridays.  In my recent move, I managed to misplace four of my favorite Christmas CDs, including the one that, for me, is the key to unlocking the Christmas Spirit.  It is the soundtrack to a Charlie Brown Christmas.  Each season, its the first CD  that I have to listen to before I can put up the tree, write a single card, or enjoy a flickering Christmas Bulb.  

Therefore, my mission to find a replacement was essential.  I was convinced it would be easy to find.  After all, who really wants an understated jazzy Christmas CD that reminds you of the simple truths of Christmas and of ourselves.  In the face of the endless chatter on TV, the political nonsense that passes for our Republic, and a Hundred Million people fighting for the right to buy a plastic widget at $10 off to exchange for love that they need but have little idea how to have, what market would there be for the exact opposite?  A few simple Christmas songs that take us back within a few cherished notes to a place far removed from what the holiday has become.  What WE have become?

IAs you maybe could tell, the first store didn't have the CD.  Or the second, or the third.  I have to say though, I have never been so happy to have such a hard time finding something.  Or to be able to purchase the very last one in the fourth place I went to find it. I couldn't help but think as I listened to the sounds of Vince Guiraldi, maybe we aren't all so bad off as "they" would have us believe. Today I think I may go try to find a Rudolph the red Nosed Reindeer CD.  Wish me luck.  Wish us all luck-- and love. We certainly need it. 

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