By Mark Beardsley
The turkey leftovers are gone, but a few pieces of various Thanksgiving pies are in the freezer awaiting consumption, the regular football season is over (except for conference playoffs) and we can now turn our focus toward planning, decorating and shopping for Christmas.
Except for the pies remaining to be enjoyed, my enthusiasm wanes. The progression from Thanksgiving to Christmas and New Year’s Day is hectic, tiresome and damaging to the waistline. It often seems as much ordeal as pleasure, and for all the buildup, it’s over in a few hours.
Ten things I hate about the Christmas season:
•realizing that some children will have no celebration
•realizing that other children will have no idea why they’re celebrating
•news reports about Christmas sales
•the dearth of meaningful college football games
•the fact that kids don’t have to go to school, but I have to go to work
•changes to my work schedule
•season’s greetings from politicians
•reports about the “war on Christmas” from the cable news’ talking heads
•Contemporary Christmas music, particularly that involving chipmunks, grandma getting run over by a reindeer or Kenny Gee
•“The Grinch who Stole Christmas”
Those are things I allow to detract from the joy and beauty of the season — thoughts or attitudes more like those of Scrooge than of the wise men, most likely because I’m often more like the former than the latter. The challenge is to not let the negatives keep me from enjoying those parts of the season that make it magical.
Ten things I love about Christmas:
•traditional Christmas music
•the excitement of children
•“It’s a Wonderful Life”
•getting together with as much family as possible
•the annual Christmas cantata at my church
•the generosity of people toward other people
•the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke
•the amazing concept that God sent Jesus to earth on our behalf
•the first cup of coffee on Christmas morning before anyone else is up
Christmas Day will be here in three weeks, and whether it’s a source of joy or frustration is largely up to each of us. I can let those 10 negatives define the season or contemplate those parts of the observation that do justice to what it’s all supposed to be about. Over the next three weeks, I hope those things we adore about Christmas will have more resonance than those that irk, frustrate or confound us.
But please, no Kenny Gee Christmas music this year.
Mark Beardsley is the editor of The Commerce News. He lives in Commerce.