Animosity At Christmas

simple-giftsWell Mom, here’s one we never had the chance to spar over, should one say “Merry Christmas“, or, is it more correct to say “Happy Holidays“? Yes, this is a thing. In fact I’ve always thought the only people who really cared were the christian whites, and why on earth would a Hindu or a Jain be offended by you wishing him Merry Christmas? Sounds like to my mind more a misunderstanding of how other cultures actually view christians maybe.

My thoughts? Just pick one…just say one or the other and get over it. Be thee either merry or happy, Christian, atheist or Jew, just try to be happy or merry. Try.

Consumerism shares quite a lot of the blame, which is paramount in adding the stress of having to pull off a financial miracle every year; than we’re also expected to be jolly and kind, like the good little consumerist we are. Play along now, get in the spirit.

As someone who interacts with the joe-average consumer every day, and to whom many dial into when they feel the need to lash out at Big Telecom, I share a slightly different point of view than most. As I see the underbelly of what all that consumerism leads to, with giant bills, and screaming children in the background, of the car as you talk and drive your children around town from store to crowded big box store. As they are going off on the voice at the other end of the line, the background noises sometimes lull me and I lose track of what the angry voice is saying.

And of course there is the sad sounding voice when you actually have the gull to DESTROY their Christmas for some deed or other that they created, or the bad news when they find out what their hearts desire will cost them. Oh, those scourges, those CEO’s and gluttonous Executives of this capitalist existence. Spout off, dejected and forlorn, poor dear.

I’d love to point out to them that they created those beasts, and for their salaries, yachts and private Islands they have consumers to thank. Amen.

Yet I confess, my pity is fake, as I have no understanding of their silly fates. Consumerism is a beast too rich for my blood, and it requires far too much work for my liking. I’m not in need of more things to feather my nest with. Far better I say to be in search of tools that help one live a good life.

Grandma would think today is awash with greed and pride. And I say, give simple gifts. Give hats and mitts, socks and scarfs, and good creams to keep the flesh of those you love subtle and warm on the cold days that we all no lie ahead. Give bottles of cheer, give time, give happiness and smiles. Give laughter and seek ways in which to spread more joy.

I know Mom, Dad would say I’m preaching again. You remember that night he went on and on about him thinking that if I’d grown up in the south like him, I’d have been an Evangelist, or a preacher… with all my lording over language and posturing. Perhaps he’s right, just maybe slightly askew on the particulars.

We’re all worshiping the same thing, our path may differ in how we reach out to that essence. what we name it, how we call to it, what we expect of it. There is no one right way, but many and diverse, as are the ways of mystery.

So anyways, I got my vaca days approved. Yeehaa!!! Time off at Christmas warms the cockles of me’heart. I will have days to lounge and wander, moments to cherish, and time to myself. And time with family, to energize, to refresh my soul.

The dogs will play, and chaos will reign, and cheer will flow, and on Christmas eve we will gather on that porch, as we have for so many years now, and watch the Lion’s Santa parade go by. And “HoHOHo…and MERRY Christmas to all“…all through that old village he’ll roam. And call it whatever you like, that’s my Christmas Mom.

As always…

Paula

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