There was a time, and oh, what a time, when the holiday season was one of merriment and cheer. We’d gather together to sing and exchange gifts, take stock of the year, and be thankful for family and friends. Children would grow more excited with each passing day, moving the the token on the Christmas countdown calendar until that fabled morning when they’d get up to discover all the presents underneath the tree.
It was, for the most part, a time of escapism from the humdrum, the monotonous, a way to dress up the cold and dark of early winter. At least that’s the way I remember it.
And apparently, I got it all wrong.
I don’t think so, but the more I read and hear of the sulfurous political atmosphere permeating into what once was described as “the most wonderful time of the year,” I begin to see that what the holidays need most is a moron exclusion period.
(The following is a hopeless rant by a supremely out of touch person.)
Recently, I learned that the Frank Loesser song, Baby, It’s Cold Outside, a song I associate with people like Dean Martin, Sinatra, Tony Bennett, is, in fact, a predatory date-rape song. Sigh! Foolishly, I thought it was two Adults having a little fun with each other about their desire to be together on a cold night and how social expectations of the 1940’s (It was written in 1944) might cause tongues to wag. Back then and through much of the intervening years it was acceptable for men and women to flirt and be playful with one another.
Not anymore. And we wonder why the younger generation is having less sex. It’s just a song.
Next on the list is A Christmas Story. Once upon a time, it was the nostalgic reminiscing of a Christmas past, by an older Ralphie leading us through his favorite Christmas memory. Now it’s a culture war touchstone, with both sides braying about either its iconic nature or it’s patently oppressive representation. I, foolishly, thought it was a funny meditation on life from the perspective of a kid, singularly focused on what he wants most for Christmas. That it takes place in an America that no longer exists shouldn’t then lend it to arguments about what America should be today.
It’s just a movie.
Maybe this is all because Christmas and the holiday season- and yes, I often greet people with, Happy Holidays, as well as Merry Christmas- now lasts an eternity. If I can buy my Christmas tree before Halloween then the season of joy is now a long slog through commercial hell. No wonder people are exhausted and broke come the new year. I could, foolishly- note how I continue to use that word-long for a return to a shorter, less gift oriented holiday season, one that focuses on good will towards men and women, charity, the joy of seeing such mirth in the eyes of children, and recognizing our common humanity.
I can and will.
Photo courtesy of Pexels.com
©2018 David William Pearce