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Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday is Black

I wouldn't be lying if I said I don't know WHAT the hell is up with the holiday season these days. Chalk it up to a sheltered upbringing in rural Vermont, or to a very real "evolution" into the current...well, whatever passes for holiday spirit these days, but I just don't get it. Furthermore, I refuse to participate. My poor daughter, as a retail employee, isn't quite so lucky. Fortunately she is blessed with a much more sanguine temperament than I possess. If I'm being perfectly honest, while optimism comes somewhat naturally to me these day, there is nothing sanguine about me. If things go to hell, I go to hell. Working on it, but it's a work in progress. Throw me into a grabby, greedy and loud situation and you will get a straight-up, full-on melt down from hell. And why would anybody want to be part of that?  Is saving a few bucks really worth all that?

When I was little I will admit that I was really into getting my Christmas presents. I'm not going to pretend that it was all about altruism and the birth of our Lord and Savior for me (Catholic). HOWEVER, that spirit that my family so lovingly passed on to us was certainly what made the holiday magical for me. I know all about the logistics re: the timing of Jesus' birth not being in December, no snow falling in Bethlehem, etc. but it didn't ruin it for me. It was still a day we set aside to acknowledge something special and we felt that presence throughout the holiday season. It was about home and family; a fun and raucous good time. And yes, I was gifted with many toy horses and a few dinosaurs, and it made me a very happy little girl.

I know it's never going to be the same. Too much pain and loss has occurred, and the old saying "You can never go home again." certainly applies to me. But it doesn't mean I can't retain some of that spirit and magic within myself. For me, that means not allowing the more materialistic parts of the holiday to sully the good. I don't mind at all that folks start celebrating right after thanksgiving (especially this year with the first day of Hanukkah coinciding with!). I'll admit that I kinda dig the whole season, and I'm a sucker for all those colored lights and cheer. Bring it on! But the stores opening on Thanksgiving and black Friday starting at midnight really gets my skivvies in a bunch.

Oh well, there's nothing to be done about it. we all celebrate in our own way I suppose. Which brings me to another point: What is the deal with all the intolerance? Why do we have to be all offended by the different ways people do things? Seriously? I've said this before and I'll say it again: Let's adopt an all-inclusive policy instead of trying to eliminate EVERYTHING. MERRY CHRISTMAS. Yeah, that's right. I F'ing said it. And you know what? HAPPY HANUKKAH. Yup, there you go. And HAPPY KWANZA. I'm on a roll here, and I have yet to explode! HAPPY SOLSTICE. And for my atheist friends, well, YOU HAVE A NICE HOLIDAY. See how that's done? There's never any harm in inclusiveness, in wishing good things for other people. It takes nothing whatsoever away from your own personal experience unless you are an intolerant pri**.

Look at what happened to the South Park Holiday Play:

 There you go. Is that really what you want?

Please enjoy the season. Take your time, be kind to folks (especially poor, stressed retail employees!), and try to remember what the season means for you. Till next time!

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