4 comments on “Don’t They Know…

  1. I’ve been seeing this more and more, and from my perspective there are four elements to it:

    1) Work. We are putting in longer and longer hours at jobs that suck the life out of us, because we have it in our minds that we NEED to do this, because we NEED to be able to afford everything under the sun for the people we care about – because so many of us can’t show love without it coming wrapped up and costing $49.95 (plus tax).

    2) Family. Mainly, the north american conceit that we need to be our own people, make it under our own steam. Yes, there is something to that, but that doesn’t mean we have to ignore or step away from our families. The parts about Christmas that really make it feel “right” to me are when I get together with family and go out to just look at lights and decorations, or sit in front of the fire listening to carols and insulting one another (lovingly so).

    3) The media. The more media-centric we become, the older we get, the more the world seems to simply hate itself. Everyone shits on everyone else. Respect is a thing of the past. We can change this on our own if we want, but it’s so hard to pull yourself out of that head space and really get into the spirit of things when all those around you and on TV and in print do nothing but hate on the world and everyone in it.

    4) Political-fucking-correctness. If I have to hear about one more fool giving me a hard time for saying Merry Christmas instead of the safer term, Happy Holidays, I’m gonna scream. Say what you want and respect that others can say what they want to you – it’s the intent, not the words, that matters. I would freaking love it if I said Merry Christmas to a friend and they wished me a happy Kwanza right back. How freaking amazing and free that would feel! We’ve gotten our heads so far up our asses about PCness that most people just avoid it altogether and bitch about how commercial the season has become. To those people I say “fuck you, have some gingerbread and put a smile on your face when someone wishes you a merry Christmas.”

    *end rant*

    Merry Christmas, Rai 🙂

  2. Political correctness, which I’m embarrassed to say was invented by my generation (Boomers), is undoubtedly one of the greater curses to afflict this nation today. Prof. Higgins might well have described it as “The cold-blooded murder of the English tongue”. Nowhere is this more blatant than in the current use of the word “special”.

    As to Christimas displays, it is rather sad not to see them as much as in previous times. I think the grandest display I’ve ever seen was in the Dyker Heights section of Brooklyn. According to the neighborhood and the sheer size of the display, I can only conclude that it was built by a mob biggie.

  3. Andrew and Bob,

    I can’t say I disagree with either of you. The combination of your various points truly has an affect on how we celebrate the holidays these past few years. Unfortunately, unless some magical holiday elves go into some serious overtime the next couple of days spreading massive doses of Christmas cheer, I do not see things getting better any time soon.

    Happy Belated Hanukkah!
    Merry Christmas!
    Joyous Kwanzaa!
    Happy New Year!

  4. The last few years, I’ve definitely played down and even avoided Christmassy stuff. For me, it’s partly because I’ve been dirt poor. I couldn’t afford gifts for my loved ones, and I love seeking something just right for each family member. This year, only my husband and I are exchanging.

    I don’t even have the money to buy the stuff to hand-make presents- I blew my entire discretionary fund on the makings for mini-gingerbread houses at a Meetup, which was my putting up a good public front, and the biggest celebration I’ll have.

    As my family is far away, and I’m often rather isolated in my apartment, it’s simply easier for me to be an ostrich. My family often celebrated Christmas in January, as I often was booked with singing gigs through the holidays. This makes it easier for me to dissociate now.

    When things get better, not just financially, but personally and emotionally, I’ll be ready to celebrate again. I can’t really focus on the peaceful joy of the season when there is such chaos around me. In the meantime, I truly do wish the true spirit of the holidays for everyone else.

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