Holidaisical

8 12 2013
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I’ve been in a bit of a creative slump lately… I’ll boldly call it “writer’s block”. It occured to me that I may benefit from a challenge, by giving my thoughts on a big subject. How about the upcoming holidays?

My apologies for being so, so late… I’m aware that I should have been in full Christmas mode in September when the first decorations hit the stores. Beach balls to Christmas balls, in the blink of an eye…

But please read on without apprehension.  You will never get “bah-humbugs” from me. I’m a big fan of the yule. That said… there are things I love so much, and things I don’t love so much.

White Stuff – In fifty-two opportunities, I don’t think I’ve experienced a White Christmas. So a big snowstorm is not only desired, it’s due! I love my family and friends very much, and look forward to the gatherings we have and attend on Christmas Eve and Day. But the thought of being holed up in my own house… with the family, food, presents, music, tree… mmmmm good!! Come on.. just once!!!

Simply, Having… – One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is the music. I love the old standards by Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole, and the newer standards by The Killers and The Pogues (if you don’t know the raw passion of “Fairytale of New York”, you are missing out). So many new songs come out this time of year, a lot for free through iTunes and other places on the World Wide Web. A few are great (“Christmas, Baby” by G Love, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by Barenaked Ladies), and some are so stunningly awful they defy description. Each year I add to my already great playlist of holiday music… and just play it all day. Love, love, love!

No Complaints – Definitely something I can do without this time of year – the complainers! You know them… someone who just can’t put aside the vitriol for a few days. We all have that ornery uncle who is sick of the commercialism of what is supposed to be a sacred holiday. Or the jackwagon complaining about the long checkout lines in stores. Or my favorite… the good Catholic who can’t stand that mass is so crowded on Christmas, and not so much on Sundays.

Life is too short, my friends. There is no reason to be angry in a season dedicated to peace and love… or any other time. So Uncle Ornery… don’t worry about gifts this year. Be cheerful instead, and that can be everyone’s gift. And Jackwagon… Shop online! And Good Catholic… I feel your pain because I used to be you. I use to go to church every week, now I don’t for whatever reason. So excuse me this year if I sit in the wrong seat, or say the wrong thing. Just like everyone else, I’m just doing my best.

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Nostalgia – Each year we get a real tree. I love the smell and the difference the new tree brings each year. We have accumulated a vast assortment of ornaments over the years… Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, Union, ManU, The Masters, etc. Can you tell we like sports? We also have “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments for both boys. We have dog stuff for Stan, and quite a few Irish themed thangs. Add some beads and garland, and it’s a pretty damn good tree!!

Growing up, my family had a silver aluminum tree with one red ball on each branch. And a color light wheel that I was responsible for assembling. We also had an oval track under the tree, with a big Lionel train set. Not exactly “Christmas on Walton Mountain”, but it was all I knew as a kid. One of these years… I’d like to rock the silver again.

Have A Happy Happy – My parents used to bring a cake to our Christmas Eve party, inscribed “Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus”. Both Mom and Dad are gone now, so we haven’t had it since 2007. We were never concerned that the presence of this cake would offend any non-Christians at our party, and it never did. So I’m continuously humored at the need for political correctness, that we must use the word “holiday” instead of Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa. I’m equally bemused by the “let’s put the Christ back in Christmas” cries that have become so common.

This year I will wish all of you… a very “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”, and I will not feel at all slighted if I don’t get those exact words back. I’m a Christian, so I say it this exact, very specific way. Your best wishes may be expressed to me differently based on your ethnicity or creed. So please don’t take offense to my words, as they are only given in kindness. And in return, please wish me an enthusiastic “Happy Hanukkah”, or joyous “Happy Kwanzaa”, or shoot me that generic “Happy Holidays”. I’ll appreciate the blessing bestowed.

Tis’ The Season – Finally… I am not the easiest person to gift. Holidays are tough for my loved ones because I am so difficult in this respect. I’m fortunate that I have very few wants or needs… I pretty much have all the music I want, I’m clearly not a slave to fashion, and buying me a book doesn’t work because I’m a techno-god and use my iPad. Gift cards are always good, but some people feel a sense of defeat giving them, like they aren’t a real gift.

I am truly blessed, but many are not. If you want to bestow upon me, please make a donation to your favorite charity… whatever it is. I thank you.

Peace and Love. From mine, to yours.

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

JL

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9 responses

12 12 2013
Cousin Carlito

JL, our break spans both Christmas and the New Year so me being a man of few words I will wish folks “Happy Holidays” and save time by verbalizing two words versus seven. Over the course a day, a week, a month the time saved adds up significantly and also stress on vocal chords. I don’t feel like I am being offensive intentionally nor is it my intent.

Memories of my first green Christmas was a unique experience seeing decorations on Palm trees in Scottsdale, AZ. Or at McMurdo Station when we had 24 hours of sunlight and snow and ice as far as the eyes can see. At my age I am content without snowfalling, however I do wish you a very snowy white Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

17 12 2013
Gr8JohnL

Same to you, cousin!! Me? I’ve never been stricken with being a man of few words… Happiest of holidays to you and the fam!

9 12 2013
Focus on outward appearances | Stepping Toes

[…] I’m aware that I should have been in full Christmas mode in September when the first decorations hit the stores. Beach balls to Christmas balls, in the blink of an eye… {Holidaisical} […]

9 12 2013
Marcus Ampe

Strange at one point you say you do not believe any more and at an other point you say you are a Christian … how come?

9 12 2013
Gr8JohnL

Marcus… I never said I didn’t believe. That I don’t attend church as much has nothing to do with belief, but more with time management and my own laziness.

I’m still a believer. Can I do better? Yes. Will I in the future? Not sure.

9 12 2013
Marcus Ampe

Everybody has a belief in something and it is true a person does not have to go to a certain church to be a believer in God. Problem of our society is also that both partners have to work many hours so that when they have some free time they only can be happy to share it with each other, not finding much time to go out of the house.

But do know you do not have to go out of your house to make church. Each individual can meet with others in the own house to take some time to read the Bible and to honour God.

Already taking some time to talk about God and to read in the Bible with your partner and children will be a very good step in the right direction.
God bless.

9 12 2013
Gr8JohnL

Thanks for that… I guess. While I respect your opinions and do not necessarily disagree, I believe that a person’s beliefs – religious, political, etc. – should only be shared when asked. Unsolicited opinions can be viewed suspiciously, with agenda.

That said, I believe your heart is in the right place. I’ve read your blog, and get your point of view. But let’s keep this space for comments on my content, not unrelated subjects.

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.

8 12 2013
Patricia

Just 1…I brought the HB Baby Jesus cake 2 yrs ago, big brudder 😛 just saying…great blog all the same, as usual

8 12 2013
Gr8JohnL

Yes, I remember. But the point is about what the cake said.

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