Why I Like Christmas

December 20, 2006 by susan

by Susan
Well now, children, it's all well and good to be cranky over Christmas, but maybe we need to cheer up around here. I've been described by some local lads (who blog under phony names and remind me of the pimple-pussed boys I used to see playing war games in the Dungeons and Dragons emporium on Lake Street a long, long time ago) as a depressive, "sucking on the tailpipe of my Prius." In my dreams! The Prius part. Sucking on the tailpipe, not so much. Read on.

They call me other things as well, which is curious to me, seeing as I'm such a little piece of fluff in the big lint screen of opinions. What a funny waste of their time.

But, back to the depressive part. They have a point. Everything I write is pretty bleak, which bugs me too, because in real life I'm not such a downer. I stay up too late, party hearty, laugh a lot, and manage to find pleasure in life's ephemera every day -- say the way the rosy towers of the Scottish Rite Temple glow like the spires of Monument Valley in the setting winter sun, or the syrupy trickle of iced gin into the glass in the setting summer sun. As I said to my mother at four years old, "I'm very happy, even though I cry nearly every day."

But here's what happened: George Bush, Dick Cheney, neo-cons, Rummy, an aquiescent congress and a compliant media, (and Ahmed Chalabi and Stephen Cambone etc. etc.) combining to suck us into the vortex of Iraq. I don't see any way out -- or farther in -- that won't result in everything getting much worse, everywhere. Sorry folks, even though I have a "bring 'em home" mindset and a pin to match, I confess to a stomach-knot of angst over the even-worse-than-now scenario when we leave and those dang Iraqis refuse to fix the mess, er, democracy, we made for them. And that kind of takes the snap out of my bean, the "yesssss" out of my good cheer, the Christ out of Christmas. Oh, sorry, not that one.

And then there's this balmy December we're having, which feels great but bodes no good for the planet, and the hypocritical and profligate ways of the no-tax-and-spend-anyway Republicans, their disregard for the constitution, and on and on. But wait, this was about Christmas cheer.

I'm all for it. Cheer and Christmas. Bubbles and New Years. Candles and fires and skating and sledding. Okay, on rollerblades. And waterslides. Really, I love the look of Christmas, the lights, gharish or tasteful; the greens, real or fake; the music (that should only be played at home) and the underlying spirit that makes most people try to think of doing nice things for others, the fact that kids, the lucky ones anyway, still believe that magic really happens. I like all the buttery food and I eat a ton of it. I like the anticipation of seeing my family. I like it when all the stores finally close down and the cars are gone from the streets and it gets very, very quiet, and even if we wanted to dash out to get that last whim-wham for Uncle Max, it's too late, and we'll all be just fine with what we have.

And I'm doing all I can to resist adding the downer here, the "unless you happen to be living (or stationed) in Baghdad, or dying in Darfur, or . . ." Stop it! Practice denial, stop thinking.
For one day, let it go. Be happy, don't worry, and, if it's your custom, do all you can to have a Merry Christmas in whatever way you like.

Afterthought.
Here's a different challenge for the depressive community: the Clothesline Why I Love Christmas contest. I've kicked it off, now send a few more our way. This is hard, I know. The prize is, hmm. . . publication here in the blog space, not in our lame comments space, complete with a postage-sized photo of your choosing. (Or ours, should you fail to suggest one.) Feliz navidad, and get going.

Posted in

Comments

Anonymous (not verified) | December 20, 2006 - 10:59pm

What I like about Christmas is when it's over, and the woods seems to have somehow got into your housein the form of a good smelling pine tree, along with nice lighting and fragrant flowers, and family has done its best to please one another with assorted presents, and lots of good food is lying around, left over dinner, and Jim's Wisconsin cheese and Ann's New Mexico fudge - if only we could just get to the "over" part, without all the nonsense involved in the "before" part.
Till then........this year's winner of my most hated Christmas sound is.......Little Drummer Boy, phony hushed whisper-sung in marketplaces everywhere. "Pa rum pa pum pum", indeed.

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soolen (not verified) | December 21, 2006 - 12:18am

We may have a winner here! The woods comng into your house . . . and getting to the after without all the before. And extra points for naming family members -- heck, for being my family member.
"Little Drummer Boy" is definitely in the running for the worst song, though "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year", with its canned good cheer chirping out over the frazzled shoppers, faces sallow in the harsh lighting, sugar-buzzed children sizzling with static electricity (it's bone dry in MN) in tow. Pa rum pa pum pum.

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Anonymous (not verified) | December 21, 2006 - 6:26pm

In no special order,
the smell of the tree as I string the lights on it or place the ornaments or dig out a present from underneath it, or undecorate it;
the song "o holy night", it never ceases to create a sense of calm and joy at the same time;
shoveling snow (even in a snowy season, I'm not tired of it by Christmas);
board games all evening on Christmas, with pie for sustenance;
a string of days off from work to enjoy family and staying home;
walking around the lake (even though I do it all the time in every season, Christmas would not be the same without it, and I love it even more on Christmas Day)

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Chad (not verified) | December 22, 2006 - 3:13am

If your lives are this horrible at Christmas time, you may want to look into self euthinasia. Just an idea, I know it must be difficult for people as smart as you to tolerate the rest of us!

And a happy new year!

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