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Posts tagged: holidays

Never On A Sunday


I really hate what the holidays have become - so materialistic.  Everybody's on a shopping frenzy for Christmas presents today (Black Friday) for items that are almost guaranteed to be put in a yard sale next summer, or high up in a closet, or deep in the basement - totally forgotten.  These items never emit the same energy use when they were purchased.

In my lifetime I have seen quiet days with family give way to a frenetic race to nowhere.  I remember when stores - all stores - were closed on Sundays.  My parents both played the Rule of the House card on Sundays - no other people.  No friends.  

I remember when Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving were times set aside for quality family time.  There was no Black Friday.   It was family time - even though at major holidays, my Mom would be busy in the kitchen and Dad would hunker down to a football game.   Over the years, I have acquired many presents for family and friend that I store, wrapped, with a journal of what I bought or made and who it was for.  Then at Christmas time, I just enjoyed the caroling, the smells, drives to look at lights.  The Crescent in downtown Spokane had a marvelous turning display of Christmas carolers, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Victorian houses.  That would be part of the route my Dad took to look at lights on Christmas Eve.  It felt magical.

My parents kind of hated the Christmas holidays.  They had little money and we four kids would get one clothes present and one personal present.  This year, I kind of hate Christmas just a little too.  There are two new babies 80 miles away, one son in Arizona and one in Moscow, Idaho.  We'll probably do a lot of baking and send care packages to the sons.  No more little traditions like staying home alone with family.   My sons are building new traditions.

But Black Friday is still abhorrent to me, somehow sacrilegious.  This huge pressure to get lavish presents, and more than one, for each person on your list with no mention of God or Jesus or the Nativity story.  

My humble opinion.


Retrospect on Thanksgiving Day…

Good morning, Netizens…

This morning’s David Horsey cartoon makes a logical if not a factual statement about the United States Thanksgiving Day, in that most Americans have either dismissed or entirely forgotten the true history of the first Thanksgiving Day and everything that has transpired since. Most Americans, unfortunately, do not want to be reminded of the atrocities they committed in their juggernaut rumble through history.

However, it should be noted that, despite the bloody history of the whites versus Native Americans, those same Native Americans were busily killing one another, making members of other tribes into slaves and other travesties long before the original Thanksgiving Day ostensibly spent with the pilgrims. They were as bloodthirsty and as savage, in some cases, as that of the white man.

However, as any student of history will quickly confirm, Thanksgiving Day, the original Thanksgiving Day, could just as easily be a national day of mourning as it could be a celebration. All one has to do is perform a little digging into the ancient histories of the Native American tribes and how they ended up where they are today.

It is a sobering thought on Thanksgiving. Your results, of course, may differ.


The meaning of the holidays…

Good morning, Netizens…

In the dead calm of pre-dawn darkness I sit contemplating the advent of the holiday shopping season which, this year, appears to be arriving much sooner than the day after Thanksgiving. That bastion of consumer enlightenment, Santa Claus, normally arrives the Day after Thanksgiving, what is termed “Black Friday”, complete with his visits to the malls, lots of tiny reindeer both real and not-so-real, and of course, the pronouncements of Christmas sales. This insanity continues unabated from Black Friday until finally, exhausted and broke, the intrepid Christmas shoppers finally reel home and fall down. Somewhere in there we pause unctuously to observe Thanksgiving Day and sometimes Christmas.

Not only do I have a serious problem with huge, sweaty crowds jamming against one another looking for that perfect Christmas bargain, but I also deeply loathe the commercialization of two such very important holidays. I’ve muttered deeply to myself about this manifestation of so-called holiday spirit in the past, even predicted a time or two that eventually we would hear Christmas Carols rumbling forth from the airwaves by (gasp!) the Fourth of July which is already happening, yet another holiday that has been marginalized by commercial advertising.

For a nation so deeply-steeped in patriotism, which is what we purport to be, it strikes me as nauseating that we get all warm and fuzzy about our Veterans of War whenever it is convenient, a diuretic to our broken moral values or simply because it is a federal holiday. The rest of the year we forget the wounded and dead scattered over several foreign countries, which is about how I would term the nearest Veterans Administration Hospital where some of the less-fortunate veterans end up. For the most part, the VA is nothing more than an extension of wars and rumors of wars, bereft of the clinical doctors and nurses who perhaps lovingly tend the ill and wounded. Yeah, sure, as my friends might say.

Has it ever dawned on anyone that holidays aren’t what they used to be? We can rearrange them on the calendar whenever we want them, and we haven’t even begun to tap dance on the implications and realities of materialism yet.

Why bother?

Why don’t we just have half a dozen or so shopping holidays each year for the hell of it. Close all public business and declare federal shopping holidays; stop fooling ourselves with all this piety and garbage about doing our part for the national economy? We could spread the economic wealth around that way, don’t you know? The merchants would love it, and those of us who still observe and revere the holidays for what they really are could sit quietly in the corners of society, nodding our heads to no one in particular, and muttering about how it once was.

I remember standing in frigid wind watching veterans solemnly marching down the street, I remember the big harvests that always preceded Thanksgiving Day but most of all, I remember the Star in the East that used to rise above the mountains on Christmas Eve. A long, long time ago, I remember two giant work horses with sleigh bells on their harnesses plodding their way across the snow-covered fields.

But I don’t remember what I bought my wife last Christmas.


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