Posts Tagged: Christmas


13
Dec 10

The Perfect Gift

Ho Ho Ho!

Wow.  I can’t believe Christmas is almost here.  It’s coming at us as fast as a herd of seniors at a “early bird” buffet.

When I was young it seemed like an eternity for Christmas to roll around.  Now it feels like I just get the decorations and lights put away and its time to pull them back out again.  Time has an interesting way of messing with our heads.

So with the whirling time warp and all the activities, I have the all important question, how is your Christmas shopping going?

Now I know that there are a number of you who have completed your shopping and you are in the envied position of just flowing with and enjoying the holidays.  But there are others, like myself, who have a ways to go.

Side Note: Having a ways to go is a bit of an understatement.  I haven’t even started.

Now generally it doesn’t bother me to wait to the last minute because when all is said and done I get my wife really nice gifts.   But what makes it a bit different this year is that I have my wife read my blogs before I post them and now she’ll know that I haven’t started yet.

Oh well, such are the hidden perils of blog writing.

With a little over a week before Christmas, this is where the serious shopping takes place.  If you have shopping habits such as me, you will bite the bullet and take off a couple of afternoons, run the gauntlet of traffic and shoppers and return home with the spoils of the hunt.

Even though my shopping tends to be last minute I actually put some thought into the gifts I give my wife.  The timing of the purchase isn’t as important a factor as is the thought and consideration of what she would like or need.

Now if I am shopping for someone other than my wife I don’t tend to put as much thought into the gift selection.  Ok, time for true confession.  In fact I have been known to … regift.  Yep, you read correctly… regift.

Now before you get all judgmental on me, be honest, have you ever regifted?  Regifting has become quite popular.  I found out some very interesting things about regifting.

REGIFTING FACTS

There is actually a National Regifting Day.  It always falls on the Thursday a week before Christmas.  This year it is December 16th.

Also there is a regift web site for people to learn about regifting and share their regift stories… seriously… I’m not making this up.  The web site is www.regiftable.com

There was actually a regift survey conducted in 2007.  Here are some interesting facts.

Who Receives Regifts

  • About 4 in 10 regifters (41%) named coworkers as the recipients of their regifts
  • Family members and friends were also named by 41%
  • Teachers – 18%
  • Significant other – 12%

Regifting is becoming more accepted

  • More than half (60%) of Americans think regifting is becoming more accepted.
  • One in four (25%) people think regifting is becoming more acceptable because it is a way to save money on holiday expenses.
  • Another 14% believe that regifting is more acceptable because it is a method of recycling.

Most regift recipients are not offended

  • More than 4 in 10 (42%) regift recipients said that they don’t really care that they were given a regift.
  • Another 18% of regift recipients said they felt happy or amused to receive a regift.
  • Less than 10% of regift recipients said they felt cheated or angry to receive a regift.

Now if I regift I make sure it’s not used… that’s a bit tacky don’t you think?  Also I try and make sure I don’t give the gift back to the person or their immediate family member.

So, happy hunting on your shopping escapades and remember, if you regift don’t be offended if you get regifted.

See you Thursday.


9
Dec 10

I Hate Christmas – Again

As you know, in my last blog entry I entered the dark side of Christmas.  What started out as just a fun twist on this wonderful holiday took me into a black hole of hate. 

My wife said it was a downer blog entry… hopefully I didn’t bum you out too much also.  I don’t mean to be the bearer of negative reality, but when I get slapped in the face by something I tend to take notice. 

I mentioned that all the videos I watched and blogs I read about hating Christmas tended to revolve around three distinct themes.  These were the primary ingredients for what I called the cauldron of toxic brew created by those that hate Christmas.

Each theme has two distinct characteristics.  First, they each possess a kernel of truth which lends a level of credibility to the argument. 

Side Note:  Truth has amazing power.  Because of it’s potency it is regularly used to season a lie making it easy for consumption for the lazy or gullible. 

 

Secondly, each of the ingredients are clearly defined, thus allowing them to independently stand alone as a sole rationale for hating Christmas.

Although they stand alone, each video or blog I read blended two or more of the ingredients.  The three ingredients seemed to naturally mesh and compliment each other increasing the vigorous flow of hate.

Side Note:  HATE.  That’s a strong word.  Some people say that Hate is the opposite of Love.  I don’t think I agree. 

Love is a word with much passion, emotion and investment.  Interestingly, hate possesses the same characteristics.  To me the opposite of Love is apathy.  Apathy means that there is so little care for something that it is not worth any investment of time, energy or emotion. 

 

“Emotions are the footprints of values.”

 - Kerry Patterson

 

OK, back to the three ingredients of hating Christmas.

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Ingredient # 1:  Political

Personally, I found these people very fascinating.  They seemed to be the brighter bulbs in the package.   Their rationale for hating Christmas was built on logic and a political framework that (in my humble opinion) is fundamentally flawed.

Here are a few phrases that seemed to capture the essence of their mindset.

  • “Brainwashed by the Christmas industrial complex”
  • “Corrupt Federal Government”
  • “Lying Capitalists”

One person even hailed the insights of the almighty Karl Marx, “Holidays are the opiate of the masses.”

You know, there is some truth to what they are saying.  I agree, the holidays are far too commercial.  But talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water… give me a break. 

Frankly, those that lay the ills of our world on the evil US Government or the filthy corporate types that exploit the masses is wearing thin (but I digress).

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Ingredient # 2:  Personal

To me, these people were sad.  My heart hurt for them.  They are like a wounded animal that lashes out whenever anyone draws near.  Christmas becomes the perfect catalyst for their spews of hate because the Spirit it represents seems to cruelly mock the void within.

The sad reality is that people are treated with unconscionable brutality.  God only knows the details of their pain.   My prayer is that they will tire of the incessant rampage and stop long enough for light to pierce the dark pain.   

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Ingredient # 3:  Religious

Of course, what else would you expect?  There were a lot of so called atheists out there bemoaning the notion of a religious holiday.  All the Christmas hoopla we partake in that makes us look like fools. 

The irritant is that they feel the need to set straight those of us who have succumbed to the ruse that there is a God.  Now to be fair, many who believe in God feel the need to set the atheists straight.  But that is understandable because those who don’t believe in God have more to lose if they are wrong.

There are those in cyber space that believe in God but this whole Jesus thing is really out of hand.  Christianity is too dominant, taking over the holiday season and shoving the other religious holidays to the side.

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So the big question is, what do I do with all this information?  I looked at it, I considered the relevant points and then made my decision.

I LOVE CHRISTMAS.  I love what it is all about and the joy it brings to the masses.  No, it is not perfect because people are not perfect. 

So I sit next to our Christmas tree and enjoy the season.

So Merry Christmas to the Christians, Happy Hanukah to my Jewish friends and Happy whatever holiday to the Muslins.  (I wonder if Buddhist or Hindus have a holiday?)

Frankly I don’t know what to say to atheists… happy holey day… get it… holey (hole, nothing there)… uh… never mind.

See you Monday.


6
Dec 10

Bah Humbug

I started writing this blog as a little tongue-in-cheek ramble about people not liking Christmas.  I thought it might be a fun twist because I know that not everyone is as ga ga over Christmas as most of us.

“There are some people who want to throw their arms round you simply because it is Christmas; there are other people who want to strangle you simply because it is Christmas.”
-Robert Lynd

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Also the thought of adding a little spice to this typically syrupy sweet sentimental holiday was too much of a temptation for me to pass up.

So I did what every normal American does when looking for information… I Googled, “Why I hate Christmas.” It was a gold mine of Bah Humbug.  There were over 75,000,000 sites about hating Christmas.

The first few pages were what I expected.  Most were playful satire on the distasteful aspects of Christmas such as the over commercialization of the holiday or the frenzied schedule just to name two.

I first ran across a cute Oscar the Grouch video from the Muppet Show – perfect.

YouTube Preview Image

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Then a video from the UK caught my eye.  It is a simple clever video of a girl’s cynical view of Christmas.  It’s worth the three minute interruption.

YouTube Preview Image

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Since these were funny and cute I thought I would dig a little deeper in my research about people not liking Christmas, oh my, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  WOW!  My head is still spinning.

Let’s just say as a starting point, there are people out there that HATE        (I mean really HATE) Christmas.

Downer Alert: I need to give you a heads up that the remainder of the blog is kind of a downer.  My wife read the blog and was somewhat bummed out.

Hang in there.  Hopefully we will redeem this when all is said and done.

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First let me say that some of the people I ran across were absolutely fascinating.  They were very interesting people, albeit a bit twisted in their logic.  Then there were others who are sad hurting souls whose emotional injuries were obviously brutal.  Finally you have the group who are consumed by raw anger who use Christmas as a convenient target to spew their venom on all those people that seem a bit too joyful

It’s beginning to look a lot like Hell…uh, I mean Christmas. Every year around this time, I spiral into a bottomless pit of anger and depression.

- First sentence of a blog

In my non-scientific research of two hours I watched the videos and looked at the blogs of those who vomited their hate.  I also read the comments of their few but vocal supporters.  As I journeyed through this chorus of anger there were two mental pictures that came to mind.

The first image of the so called supporters is that of a rabid crowd standing on the street cheering the person on the ledge on to their own destruction.  They are the blood thirsty cowards who anonymously keep their distance as others do their dirty work.

The second image is that of all three groups (video people, bloggers and supporters).  I see them as a coven of witches huddled over a bubbling cauldron of poison.  They each throw a variety of ingredients into the brew as they in unison recite their incantations validating their beliefs.

As I reflected on all that I saw and read I discovered the three primary ingredients of their toxic brew.  The ingredients stands alone each possessing a kernel of truth.  But they also blend nicely with each other making it easier to legitimize the deceit.

I do not have the time or energy to go into detail today.  This will be my task for Thursday’s blog.

Let me assure you, as I did for my wife, I  am not going to camp out on these negative realities.

See you then.