A _______For the Rest of Us

Tis the season, Black Friday has come and gone with violence in it's wake. I'm definitely not able to do what I did in 2010, I had no time to prepare and the game has changed a bit from last year.  I like that none of those around me have a lot of disposable income, myself included. It keeps things interesting and takes the pressure away from this most anxiety inducing time of year.

Who could afford to give a gift to every person they'd like to?  If you start that practice inevitably you have to start prioritizing and budgeting, and I don't prefer to rank my close ties according to my bank balance.  This year everyone has agreed on  a secret Santa" draw of names, reducing my responsibility to just one other person. Anyone else in my bubble who might recieve a token will likely not have expected it.  I savor the element of surprise in the first place when giving a present - isn't it much more fun to share something out of reason and out of season?  When you're just appreciating the recipient in an all around enjoyment of their general existence? It sounds better and rings truer than the sweaty palmed choices that are made leading up to an anticipated date-slash-deadline.

I will be fair, and admit I have the luxury of not having any little pleading faces looking up at me with hope of what they'll find on Christmas morning.  I often consider that the shopping boom is largely fuelled by families, fuelled by their children's expectations, fuelled by non-stop Christmas hyped advertising.  When I was a child I was no better, eagerly making my wishlist each year and many of us grow into adults still doing the same thing. Of course, people with no religion still endure the season, as well as cultures and faiths that don't officially observe the holiday.  I'd tend to guess those on the outside find the whole Christmas affair completely obscene? Absurd? Or do they just get tired of being beaten over the head with it for about two odd months leading up to the holidays?

I'm sure many grow uncomfortable every time the  "War On Christmas" debate gets wound up by the talking heads each year.  The way they frame their straw man, the non-Christian portion of the population is painted as being on the offensive.  If a pressure to appease the sensibilities of other faiths and cultures in the melting pot is what the pundits argue is threatening the sanctity of Christmas, those outsiders and multiculturalists are a comparably weak force. They almost never show up to fight for the politically correct secular Christmas Fox News seems to think they are demanding.  Since the "enemy" is MIA,  Jon Stewart has taken the opportunity to properly declare the war they've all been harping about.  When a comedian is the only one willing to validate your position, and he's doing it for laughs - tell me again why you're wasting our time?

I may participate in the cultural Christmas spirit, but I get so tired of the dogmas surrounding it.  I'll even finally say without shame - I hate Christmas carols.  I'm in the right spot on the globe, because the only Christmas related tune I can tolerate is the Australian "Six White Boomers" (there's something about picturing kangaroos hauling that fat man around that makes me smile).  Nearly every single Christmas-related song sets my teeth on edge, but I'm not grinchy enough to make a serious request for someone to turn them off. Who am I to be a wet blanket? It's really no different than sitting through any other genre that I respectfully deal with when I'm not playing DJ.  I just take a breath, and take comfort in knowing as soon as the clock rolls over into Boxing Day my ears will not be offended for another ten months.  

Here in the palm trees, warm rain and muggy heat, I do feel sheltered from the tinseled bohemoth sweeping across the other half of the equator.  I'd just like my friends to know I'd rather drop some coin to share a beer with them than a carefully wrapped box. Sure it's not even Jesus's birthday, but I don't believe it does any harm being reminded of the core of the man's message on an annual basis.  Despite a few grievances, I really can't argue with a day dedicated to spending time with your family and devouring a triptophan-laden food bomb while liberally indulging in spiked nog.  Why not? If the 2012 cult have their way this one might be the last supper anyhow.   Have yourself a Festivus if you have to.

There's just no real reason to become a cynic.

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