I seem to have had an on again/off again relationship with Christmas-time. As a child, I loved it. The excitement of lists, gifts, family, baked goodies, pine cones, fake snow, real snow, assorted candles and lights, and the ridiculous legend of some fat guy, wearing a red suit and hat while flying through the galaxy with a reindeer-powered engine [airborne pimp?] seemed marvelous to me. As I got older, I simply enjoyed the traditional smells and ‘spirit’ that this time of year seemed to invoke.
I believe that for the sake of raising a ‘critically thinking Christmas-time generation,’ some things have just got to be considered. Thus, I’ve compiled a list of things that we should raise an eyebrow, should we find ourselves committing these acts or should we simply stumble upon these acts already committed.
1.) Do NOT get yourself involved in Christmas trees, decorations, Santa outfits, nor attend any gatherings if you’ve been a complete ass to anyone that may be able to connect you to any of these items. You just may ruin Christmas celebrations for that person and their children, thus extinguishing an important world-wide tradition for generations to come. Such behavior is selfish and you should sit this season on the sidelines. Consider being nicer next year.
2.) Do NOT place tags on gifts proclaiming: “From Santa,” then get mad at me b/c I tell the truth: “From TRACY.” I’m not a plagiarist; I want my credit. Thanks.
3.) Do NOT try to convince the children of your Floridian community that Frosty and the Mrs. can happily survive here. When they move to a ‘real snow n melt’ community, they’re gonna be pissed.
And do NOT let this same community try to convince you nor your kids that Santa could possibly clear this tree so late. Teach them real world concepts. Santa will destroy this tree and his reindeer should be fired. Period. They can live off of Rudolph’s song-royalties.
4.) Do NOT tell your kids that Santa enters your home via the chimney when you don’t even have a fireplace. Please consider creativity in your story-telling. It’s okay to change things up a bit; make them your own. As a child, I spent many an Xmas Eve staring at a blank spot on our living room wall, where I imagined the “fireplace like in the stories” would magically appear. “Hmm, maybe next year.” *Dummy.*
5.) Do NOT allow your mother to come decorate your house without a proper orientation for your cat. Remember, the place that all this Xmas stuff now consumes was once the domain of your cat. You picked him. He didn’t pick you. Watching the poor fella stumble sideways, from gadget to gadget probably isn’t cute to him.
6.) Do NOT haphazardly fling lights onto your house and bushes, yell to your wife to “OKAY, Cuttem on Irma Jean!” then step back to the curb for a full view and nod proudly, as if you’ve put forth your best effort. You have only served to lower the property value of your neighbors, who either hate you for being so tacky or love you for making their house look even better to the Neighborhood Decoration Judging Committee. Be a good sport and skip the curbside nod. Just throw up your lights and walk back inside. (And mark your calendar for Feb 2nd. By then, you should’ve removed these lights; It’s painfully obvious that some folks need a reminder to follow this rule of thumb.)
7.) Do NOT give Dollar Tree-evident gifts. If you’re strapped for cash this year, MAKE your gifts. It says so much more about your character. Buy a box of brownies from the Dollar Store and actually bake them. And if you absolutely cannot afford to buy gifts of any sort, then refer back to #1 and consider your character again. If it’s in good standing, simply write a post-dated check for next December. They know you’re good for it.
8.) Do NOT overspend. If you find that you’re stressing over your budget, look back to last year’s events. Did you overspend then? If so, you’ve still probably got some post-dated IOU’s awaiting some specific cash-in date this December. In this case, STOP all shopping and go home. It’s over. However, if this is the first year that you’re considering this nonsense, go ahead and knock yourself out. Hell, withdraw a lil ‘sum sum’ from your 401k or IRA, whichever you feel most comfy with. Penalty fees are nuthin! Just be sure to maintain your credit score in the mid 700s.
9.) Do NOT re-gift the scarf that you got from your Granny last year, to your Alzheimer’d great-aunt. She was at the family gift-giving ceremony last year too. Her mind may not remember what transpired, but her soul does. For more details about memory and souls, consider my blog: Mind, Soul, and Wheelchairs Brakes.
10.) Forget much of this nonsense & just Enjoy the holiday. Jeez! ;o)