Friday, December 02, 2005

The Christmas Season

For many people the Christmas season begins the day after Thanksgiving, and while that's when I may put my tree up, I prefer to let the Christmas season start on December 1st, thus giving me time to wind down from the last holiday. For retailers, it seems to start about October 14th right now, moving up a day earlier each year.

The Christmas shopping season is filled with joyful people who spread their cheer and angry last minute shoppers who assume it's everyone else's fault that they put things off until the last minute. It is for these two reasons alone that I preferred to work on Christmas Even when I was stuck in retail. It amused me to see the apparent contradictions in people's behavior.

Regardless of how people act, there is something magical about the Christmas season. Perhaps it's just because those of us who are of European descent have celebrating the solstice at the time for thousands of years, but I discard such notions because racial memory is based on a rather shakey genetic principle. Does it even matter why we celebrate? The simple answer is no it doesn't. It's more important that the season does bring out humanity's best and of course, it's worst. Being able to see both is a unique blessing that we do not often appreciate, but should. Why not try going up to the grinch next time and see if you can brighten his or her day?

As a final note, whatever you're celebrating Yule, Christmas, Chanakah (spelling?), the solstice, December 25th, or even some more obscure holiday like the Roman
Saturnalia. I wish you a happy Holiday season.


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