But I've got to thinking about it, and I'm now having a very hard time figuring out exactly WHY the commercialism of Christmas is so very wrong. While I can certainly see why some would find the hustle-n-bustle of holiday shopping to be overwhelming, I rather enjoy it. This year I made an Excel spreadsheet in early November containing a list of what we were gonna get everyone, and whenever we had an "aha, that'd be a great gift for
And I enjoyed all of it. I didn't stress over the shopping, even when I was in the crowded mall. I took the rugrat with me, and we made time to stop in at "Starbooks" (as she calls it) for a coffee and a chocolate milk to watch all the goings-on while we checked out the latest animated furry Sesame-Street toys.
All my life I'd been like Charlie Brown, often worried that I wasn't getting the "deeper meanings" of it all. Even when I thought I had properly plumbed the depths of these Christmas meanings, I still worried that there were even deeper meanings that I was missing. The whole time, though, Lucy was still telling me that Christmas was all about "Santa Claus and Ho Ho Ho and Mistletoe and Presents to pret-ty girls", and I now think Lucy's right. While I've heard of people who've stretched out far enough that they've found this brass ring of meaning, I'm not convinced that they have, because they're inevitably unable to articulate it. And I'm never one to embrace concepts that cannot be articulated. True meaning and self-hypnosis look virtually identical to the outside viewer as well as the practitioner.
Watching cable news (a thing that I really must avoid more), I'm told that there is a culture-war surrounding Christmas, and it's being perpetuated by those shallow department stores and toy manufacturers and soft drink vendors who are trying to hijack Christmas and turn it into a bigass commercial greedfest, and the religious and cultural forces are defending against this onslaught as best they can. Seems to me to be the opposite, though. Christmas is whatever I make it to be, and those who insist that there's something wrong with ME for embracing the mirthful shallowness of it all are the ones firing the culture-war shots.
. . .and that's the meaning folks. So if you want depth to your holidays, have some. Meanwhile, I'm going to the mall. Last week along with the gifts I discovered that Sears was selling gigantic boxes of laundry-detergent (quite highly rated in Consumer Reports) for $10, so I now have enough to last at least a year.
On another note (and one that I'm fully convinced that you don't care about, which is fine because I write this journal for me and not for you), I finished Mountain Man and am now working through Managing Ignatius : The Lunacy of Lucky Dogs and Life in New Orleans, which is a chronicle of the Lucky Dog hot dog company in New Orleans and the dotty array of human flotsam that drifts through the company to sell hot dogs on the street. It's a perfect read for a ConfederacyOfDuncesophile such as myself.