Although four days are left until the end of Christmastide as I write, most people count today as the official beginning of the post-holiday new year. Many, like me, are happy this morning because they have a less than comfortable relationship with longish holiday periods. When I hear an adult express surprise that the two weeks just passed produce more mental health problems than any other period of the year, I wonder what planet they’re from.
Now, there are things I love about the Christmas season.Two things. I get to see my kids and grandsons for sure. And, I love being at Mass on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to sing those beautiful hymns that we only sing once or twice a year. But that ends the list of things I like about the “season.” There are more things that drive me crazy. Here’s a partial list.
- The Tsumami of commercialism, especially the commercials of people getting new Lexuses (Lexi?) for Christmas. Has anyone ever actually done that?
- Christmas Muzak (not the Messiah, but peppy faux Christmas drivel about snowmen, roaring fires, and candy canes) piped into every conceivable commercial establishment.
- My trash not being collected on the proper day of the week.
- Any sort of Christmas show on television. This shouldn’t drive me crazy because I haven’t watched one in about 50 years, but just knowing they are being televised to millions of eager viewers sets me on edge.
- Unwrapping presents — unless I am helping my grandson, Walker, unwrap a giant Lego project that will fill up hours of my time and distract me from everything else.
- The willingness of people to procrastinate shamefully from about mid-December until a week after New Year’s simply because it’s “the holidays.”
- Football. Those of you who know me will balk at this one. You know I don’t hate football. It serves a useful purpose: a vehicle for wagering. Aside from Tulane and the Saints, I usually don’t care who wins a game unless by chance I have backed one of the teams which occasionally happens when the devil is especially active. But when you have 158 bowl games crammed into a two-week period on top of the final two weeks of the NFL regular season, it is wretched excess (one of our country’s dominant traits), impossible to escape, and it makes me ill-tempered along with all of the above phenomena.
So I am thrilled to be sitting here on January 2nd enjoying the last four days of the real Christmas season without any of the faux Christmas trappings of the season we’ve invented.
Enough grinching. Forthcoming posts will return to topics more familiar to loyal readers. Next up: My pick for the Democratic nominee for 2020. Stay tuned.