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Category Archives: Christmas and Other Holidays

Pushing It

I am just old enough to remember when Christmas decorations in the stores went up the day after Thanksgiving, which was the same day Christmas carols started playing on the radio, and families in the old neighborhood put up their outside decorations, come mild or bitter cold breezes off Lake Michigan. In fact, it was a treat to go Downtown to see what Marshall Field’s window themes were for any given year, but you couldn’t do that until after Thanksgiving.

Slowly, decorations and the not-so-subtle hinting at great store bargains began creeping up before Thanksgiving, and so much so that well, nowadays you can stick your head into any one of several ginormous arts-crafts-sewing stores, and yes, The Decorations are up and serenaded by Eartha Kitt belting out “Santa Baby.” In July. Or – gasp! – June.

My Ma told me that when she was growing up, nobody put up decorations – including at home – until Christmas Eve. If you watch old movies (like I do), you might see the same craziness in any given Holiday-themed movie. I could be mistaken, but Barbara Stanwyck didn’t put up her tree until Christmas Eve in the 1945 movie, “Christmas in Connecticut.” And if I remember my history right, it was Franklin Delano Roosevelt who got the ol’ ball rolling with asking stores to start their Christmas season right after Thanksgiving. It was to get the draggy Great Depression economy rolling again, you know.

I’m not blaming anyone for the whole moving-Christmas-up-and-up-and-up. It’s just that it would be so nice to have that spirit, that goodwill feeling, that feeling of brotherhood and love all year ‘round, or at least during the six months’ time those decorations are up and Der Bingle starts dreaming of his ”White Christmas.”  People have become so numb and zombie-like with every holiday, in fact.

I read a tract somewhere wherein a priest wrote that in the anticipation of a baby’s birth, the joy of it coming didn’t end on the day it was born. In fact, the greater joy came on its birth day, and continued well past that day, throughout the years. Conversely, with Christmas, people have all this joy and merry-making for Jesus’ birth (if that’s how they observe the holy day), but it fizzles out the day after Christmas. I found that interesting, and it makes sense.  But it doesn’t.   What has Christmas become? You and I know that answer.

Still, I’d like that total societal feeling of consideration, love, and cordialness year ‘round, but maybe that’s too “Pollyanna,” and I’ve become jaded.

But it is worth a try. Isn’t it?

What I saw this past week:

“From the newspaper and around town.”

©2017 Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.

 

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Being Ready

Lately, I’ve been taken aback by a singular question from acquaintances and friends that seems to be popular these days: “Are you ready for Christmas?”

I don’t remember that question being asked until this year. The questions I do remember previously were along the lines of “Is all your baking done?” “Did you get all your shopping done?” “Do you have your decorating done?”—questions along those lines.

I’m not sure exactly how I am supposed to answer, “Are you ready for Christmas?” Is a spiritual answer in order, or is a more tangible, materialistic answer the way to go?

Answering honestly and tactfully is a good rule of thumb.

Yes, I am ready for Christmas in the religious and spiritual sense. At least, I’d like to think I am. I am a Believer, but balk from shouting it from the rooftops for every Tom, Dick, and Hattie to hear. My spiritual beliefs are personal, and just for me. Thank you for understanding.

No, I am not ready for Christmas in the tangible and materialistic sense. A small silver aluminum Christmas tree adorns a hall table, the old white porcelain Nativity crèche has a place of honor on the glass sofa table, and the chalk ware Wise Men stand waiting on my fireplace mantel. I wasn’t in the “pull out all the stops” mood this year. Thank you for understanding.

So, generally when I’m asked, “Are you ready for Christmas?” I answer “Yes” and don’t elaborate. This year, I am in the mood for Christmas to be serene, quiet, reflective, non-stressful, and happy – and not have to explain why ad infinitum.

I am ready in my own way.

So, for whatever Holiday(s) or observance(s) you follow, I wish you the happiest, best, and the most peaceful one – and that you are ready to be happy in any way you need and/or desire.

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.


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