The holidays really bum me out. I really just dislike what people become around this time of year. I'm not sure if my change in feelings is due to my getting older or if it is just our modern age which makes things suck so bad. The commercialism of these special times just sickens me.
I work near a mall which makes me a near expert on the observation of the holiday human. Bumper to bumper cars line the parking lots and mall entrance roads filled with angry people and screaming kids. Once the joyful family enters the mall, the kids begin screaming for their favorite toys, candy, and whatever else suits their fancy. If the parents do not comply, the child will fall to the floor in a fit of rage complete with punching and kicking. The general masses won't tolerate public discipline of the child, but will still sneer at the behavior. They themselves are oblivious that their own children act the same way; well, that is without their daily dose of Ritalin.
After the children are calmed down with a wad of french fries and chicken nuggets, it's on to the shopping. Lines of shipping carts fill the aisles of overzealous advertising. Busy lifestyles and stress breed impatience and impatience doesn't mix well with lines. Shortages of lead painted toys make adults fight in order to satisfy their kid's "needs" on Christmas day. Common courtesy started fading sometime around Easter and is now non-existent. People will cut line and bump into one another without a word of apology.
It's a very dreary and selfish picture I painted, isn't it? Sadly, this is truth. This is not the same holiday season I remember growing up. The holidays are about friends and family and spending time with them. I wish people would buy less things for others and spend those wasted mall hours doing something more meaningful. Write a note in a Christmas card or bake some cookies and send that instead. It will mean just as much, I promise.
Plan some together time with friends and enjoy a night out. Make a tradition of it! Traditions are what make holidays special. It's something that is concrete and dependable in this craziness. You can always count on that dinner at Granny's with all of the family. Every year it's just like you remember it and that is what is special about it. I've always gone driving around on Christmas Eve to look at the lights on people's homes, and my wife and I have continued that tradition.
I would like to wish you, dear reader, a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas. Please be safe and remember what is important.