You’re not supposed to say it, but I’m going to anyway. People have been fined for promoting it, but I don’t care. And a few of you may get offended, but you’ll have to deal with it.
So, “tis the season” that we begin to reflect on what we have done in the past year. We remember, among other things, that we are a year older, we begin to make those annual calls to long lost friends and family, and we work overtime so we have the resources to successfully play the part of the true meaning of Christmas – SAAAANTA!
I love Christmas, always have, but over the years Christmas has turned into “The Holidays” and “Christmas in July” has turned into “Christmas marketing: July through January”. I guess what I love is the memory of Christmas; when we’d put up the tree after Thanksgiving, and although Santa was cool it was more about that really hip baby. The memory of that one Christmas morning flight where the Captain said, “aahhhh, folks, aahhhh I’d like to, aahhhh wish you a very Merry, aahhhh Christmas”! It’s not like that anymore. These days the science of Christmas tree genetics is more advanced than cloning, you drink Starbucks from red cups before your Halloween hangover is cleared up, and any song played on the radio with the word “Christmas” in it is censored like a Cypress Hill single.
Come on America, we can do better than this! What happened to our majestic credos “We the People” or “One Nation, Under God”? Those are strong, confident statements that seem to say “We know what we believe, and we are not afraid to look you straight in the eye and defend it”, but our credos have given way to scenes of Homer Simpson drowning in the ocean, shouting “I’m not often a praying man, but if you’re out there, Superman, I could really use some help!”. We have found ourselves making jokes and laughing at our historically richest values and beliefs. We do this, because if we don’t, we may offend someone; if we don’t, the economy may crash. If we don’t laugh and minimize our beliefs, we just may have to look someone in the eye and defend them; and that is hard. We have, in this sense, lost our way. Our vision as a nation has become obscure at best, and obsolete at worst.
My point is not one of religious nature, and it isn’t to say we are a weak country. I do, however, think we have become sensitive to forces that lead us away from what we originally set out to do, forces that lead us away from our vision and our goals, and that alarms me because after all, we are “One Nation, Under God”. Perhaps that is difficult to market…
Recently while on a work trip, my coworkers and I discussed our “Holiday” plans. One talked about how nice it was to have Thanksgiving off for the first time in years. He explained that Thanksgiving is really the only holiday that captures the essence of Christmas; you get together with family, have a nice dinner, watch some football, and remember how it was the pilgrims who “turned corn into bread, and walked on cranberry bogs”. On Thanksgiving there is no pressure to buy cards, gifts, or give excessive amounts of free hugs. But thanksgiving is virtually transparent; there are no commercials for “Little Indian Elmo”, no turkey Starbucks cups, and no phantom pilgrims who slide down chimneys. No, see, there’s no money in that. So Thanksgiving, the holiday left behind in the marketing world has become the “lost holiday”, the day that represents what we believe is important, but we don’t have to say it out loud. So, my question: why is that? Why are we willing to let what are ultimately inconsequential factors lead us away from looking someone in the eye and telling them how we feel? Why are we satisfied discussing our vision, our goals, and our values in the past tense?
So, America, this is a call to recognize Christmas for Christmas, not for the DOW. It’s not a marketing ploy, it’s not about toys, and really it’s not that hard. This is a call rooted in the beliefs, goals and vision of those generations before us, and because of their conviction and passion for building this great nation, we have grown to love it even more. Don’t be afraid to look anyone straight in the eye, and tell them what you believe.
From my entire family to you and yours, our most sincere MERRY CHRISTMAS!