Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Call me Grinchley.
I've noticed that negative visual connotations of Christmas seem to be growing in number. Sure, many are meant to be ironic, but the underlying sentiment is one of grinchliness.
I know I myself have taken a somewhat curmudgeonly view of the season for years. I'm pretty sure it started with my first "Black Friday", probably in the mid or late 1980s. It wasn't called "Black Friday" at the time, but it was a precursor, with early store openings, big advertised sales "from 9 to Noon only", and a horde of rude and competitive shoppers crowding the stores. What had once been a mostly peaceful Friday morning, one of my few extra days off from work during the year, became frightful. I immediately swore off holiday shopping and took my peace at home. Because I was home, it was assumed by other family members I should string decorative lights along the eaves of the house. Each year more strings of lights appeared, which I was expected to find a place for on the house or trees.
You can probably guess where I could go with this line of thinking. More cookies to bake (do people even bake cookies now?). More sweets to consume (so as not to waste food or offend all those baking efforts). More gifts to buy (often at organized office-swaps and often to someone in another department with whom you had little or no daily interaction). Even more controversy. (Should City Hall display nativity scenes? Why is there a special season that excludes Jewish, Hindu or Muslim children? Are the atheists destroying Christmas?)
I still bake some. I give gifts to some people. Sometimes I put a few lights on the house.
Mostly I observe the Madness.