November 19, 2005

Holiday lethargy

"What do you want for Christmas?"

Thoughts of sugar plums and i-Pods and maybe a feather comforter for my bed dance in my head...Then I cringe with self-loathing at my greed.

Sure, I want things for Christmas, but why should I start the season by asking for gifts, when I can so easily give them?

But, much to my dismay, the sales begin so soon and family members -must- buy these things for me. Then have to wrap them, and then finally, sit them under the tree for our subsequent use and disregard after February 1. How uniquely we show our love.

And so you're asking, if you are some sort of alien who has never watched television or picked up a magazine or drove down the highway and seen a billboard, what are these gifts that so endear our hearts and empty our pockets?

-Smelly stuff
January and February are so odorous that no one needs flowers--just stick your head in a crowded room and you have enough to last you four summers...and then some. I think winter epidemics begin from sneezing from these perfumed something-or-others.

-Pajamas
Silk or flannel? It's always flannel if you aren't getting married in my family, and they always have cute characters on them, like Thumper from Bambi. However, the arms shrink. Does it really matter, though? If they don't fit or the arms shrink, only your bedmate (if you have one) will see you. They are -the- safe gift.

-Gadgetry
Take any word, any word at all and insert and "i" in front of it, and you have your 2005 Christmas gift (i.e. i-Pod, i-Tunes gift card, i-Mac). They're taking over the world. I declare!

-Media
Magazine subscriptions, newspaper subscriptions, DVD's, CD's, and any other fun thing that keeps giving long after the last piece of Christmas ham is eaten.

But wait a minute....Thanksgiving isn't even here!

Half of my neighbors have their Christmas stuff up. Stuff--as in those projector thingys outside their houses, icicle lights on every edge of their home's exterior surfaces, and the indomitable inflatable snowmen (or women) in their front yard.

My town is already bedecked for yuletide "Sparkle Season" and the resident Jesus in my town's nativity is already out for display.

What is going on? And why do I feel such a compulsion to take a sharp fork out and poke everyone's inflatable snowmen? :-D

It's because we're celebrating too fast and too early. Whatever happened to anticipation and savoring? What ever happened to "thanking" before the "getting"?

And that's exactly what Christmas is to so many people--the pursuit of things we have neither the money to pay for or the time to do. Don't we do enough of that during the year? Do we have to end with the same theme?

Well, in this flight of 190 mph holiday fancy, maybe I should skip Christmas and head onto my resolution: I will not ask for things I know I cannot reciprocate. I will reciprocate--for real this year.

We all want to do something like feed people at a homeless shelter or act in a drama at church or even put a little more in the offering plate at church for a charitable cause, but never actually do it. Why? Because we look forward to gifts under the tree, instead of in own hearts. It's about time I do something about it--with this season.

And if your snowman gets poked by a five-pronged object, it wasn't me.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at November 19, 2005 12:58 PM | TrackBack
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