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of Christmas present and past

The holidays now seem more cacophonous to me than ever. The hustle and bustle jangles against the nerves as the commercialism ramps up to a fever pitch. People frantically look for things their families and friends don't really need but that doesn't matter. One cannot show up empty handed.

My grown children will get money they will use more pragmatically than they ever have because their childhood is over. I marvel at their practicality as the three of us talk over the weekend coffee that they humor me with before going back to their lives. I don't tell them, but I still see those little versions of themselves gleefully opening presents on a Christmas morning; their mother and I both smiling ear to ear like Cheshire cats.

I am secretly glad that period of life is over as I no longer need to bask among the panicky holiday crowds. It allows me to sit back and remember when my parents (both young and healthy) indulged in that same age old ritual and beamed as we tore through our own wrapping paper.

To this day I am still uncertain as to who enjoyed that process more; them or us.


  1. I realize your post is not nearly this cynical, but your opening lament about the commercialization and consequent craziness of the holidays resonates with me like a string in tune, and . . . well . . . reminded me of the lyrics of Tom Lehrer's song, A Christmas CaroI:

    Christmas time is here, by golly,
    Disapproval would be folly,
    Deck the halls with hunks of holly,
    Fill the cup and don't say "when."

    Kill the turkeys, ducks and chickens,
    Mix the punch, drag out the dickens,
    Even though the prospect sickens,
    Brother, here we go again.

    On Christmas day you can't get sore,
    Your fellow man you must adore,
    There's time to rob him all the more
    The other three hundred and sixty-four.

    Relations, sparing no expense'll
    Send some useless old utensil,
    Or a matching pen and pencil.
    "just the thing I need! how nice!"

    It doesn't matter how sincere it
    Is, nor how heartfelt the spirit,
    Sentiment will not endear it,
    What's important is the price.

    Hark the herald tribune sings,
    Advertising wondrous things.

    God rest ye merry, merchants,
    May you make the yuletide pay.

    Angels we have heard on high
    Tell us to go out and buy!

    So let the raucous sleigh bells jingle,
    Hail our dear old friend Kris Kringle,
    Driving his reindeer across the sky.
    Don't stand underneath when they fly by.



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