I love Christmas. The whole season of it, from around the middle of November, when I start sampling this year’s repetitive batch of holiday music, to just after New Year’s, when I generally put the whole festival away.
It’s hard to understand what, exactly, I love about the holiday. I’m not into the religious or commercial aspects of the season, though I can certainly appreciate both. I do love seeing the holiday decorations out in stores, and I think the earlier the better. I love the commercials. Toyotathon. M&Ms. All those cool Coca-Cola ones. And remember the Budweiser Clydesdales? Do they still do that?
But what I mean about the commercial aspect of it is, I don’t do the shopping bits. They’re a drain on me and Christmas is supposed to be filled with joy and cheer (and lots of beer), not headaches and long lines and (ugh) wrapping paper.
Though I do love the images on the wrapping paper.
Not to say that it shouldn’t bring you joy, the shopping. If that’s the fun part of the season for you – figuring out the right gift for every person on your list – knock yourself silly. I know people for whom that is what the season is all about. Perfect. I am never one to impose my style on another. That’s why I respect your Christianity, your Catholicism, your Judaism, your Islamic faith, your Paganism or Atheism or preference for polytheism or adherence to Pastafarianism. If that be your thing, cool. Embrace it. Live your Hanukkah, your Kwanzaa, your Winter Holiday, or whatever you prefer. Just don’t try to impress upon others that your way is the only way. Cuz it ain’t.
“Merry Christmas” is fine. So is “Happy Holidays.”
What I am into about the season are the beautiful lights, glorious decorations, cheerful music, memorable movies, change in the weather. I love somewhat extreme weather.
I love all the seasons. By the time each one rolls to an end I am ready for the next one. I don’t want endless summers, eternal winters, everlasting autumns or never-ending springs. I like about 3 months of each. And each has its bounty.
Summer brings the heat, and where I live you can go outside in shorts and a tank at all hours of the day and night. Beautiful. Spring brings that respite from the freeze, and it never seems too hot or too cold. Autumn gives me football, and we all know what I think about that. Winter gives us Christmas.
Of course, each season has its drawbacks, too. Summer can be too hot for too long and can bring those fires. Spring is mosquito season on me, and the lawn grows so quick I have to mow it twice – sometimes three times – each week. The autumn wind is a pirate. And winter, well, winter is real damn cold. And wet. Like, turning-all-the-towels-brown-from-muddy-paws wet. I swear, this is the muddiest December ever. Just like the last one.
But I still love Christmas. It’s a feeling, mostly. A mixture of nostalgia and promise unlike any other season, unlike any other holiday, in my life. I choose December to reflect upon the past year, to envisage the next one. It is an ending and a beginning, for me. 2021 was one of the best years I can remember, in some ways, and in some ways the worst. I suppose, in hindsight, most years can be viewed that way. I recommend never focusing on just the good or bad of a thing but take in its totality. It’s okay to have a good year. It’s okay to have a bad one. It’s okay if it’s the same one every time.
I hope you had an amazing year, my friends. I hope it was the best one you ever had. I hope next year tops this one in every possible way. I hope we love our neighbors. I hope we relish our similarities and embrace our differences. I still wish for world peace.
Merry Christmas to you and yours. Or Happy Holidays if you prefer. Enjoy this day, be cheerful and safe. Eat plenty. Drink with rational abandon. Hug tightly. Abide dissent.
Heed the words of the Serenity Prayer, no matter your religious predilection.
Serenity. Courage. Wisdom.
Yeah, I’ll take a cup of that, and share what I get with you. 🍻😊