Tuesday, November 21, 2006


The holidays are here. It seems quite fashionable to bash, berate, and belittle each event as it rushes towards us in a non-stop frenzy culminating with the passing of another year.

Guess what? Not going to do it. Sorry.

I look forward to Thanksgiving, but I do not have any misgivings or romanticized notions about the day. I know this nation was built on the backs of others. I call it “Smallpox Blanket Day” in honor of my old next-door neighbor (who happens to be a Lakota medicine man / tribal elder.)

I come from Irish stock. The folks on my mother’s side were imported to work the Comstock. Slavery had come to an end, so the next cheapest form of labor was the Irish. It was slavery without the title.

I have come far past that. I will not forget where I came from, or what happened to my ancestors, but I will not allow it to consume or define me. Nor will I allow the actions of the long dead to determine my fate.

I like Thanksgiving. I like the big meal, the kids running around, and the lazy afternoon that follows the feast. During the entire event I am thankful, to nothing in particular, that I can have a day like that. That I can listen to the kids play. That I am.

This brings me to the big holiday. I like Christmas. I like watching the kids get excited. I like reminding my wife to (however begrudgingly) remember her birthday (December 24) in the middle of it.

I don’t get upset about the perceived commercialization of the holidays. I don’t watch much television, so I don’t see many ads. I have always ignored displays in stores. I enjoy watching the kids get excited, so the things that should aggravate me simply don’t.

See, I’m a grown up. I’ve learned when bitching will do something. I understand that this is a capitalist society and that my level of participation has a great deal of influence over my perception.
  • If I’m not concerned about buying a bunch of gifts, the displays won’t affect me.
  • If I am secure in my beliefs, other people’s will not offend me.
  • If I have my own reason for a holiday, nobody can market it to me.
Thus, with my blinders on and my mind wide open, I enjoy the holidays.


At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Wende said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Tom. Too much time is spent griping about the holidays.

I've put a personal moratorium on it this year---I'm simply not tolerating that mentality in my world until January. Heh. And by not tolerating, I mean, I'm avoiding it. :)

And I love the last line. Lately, I've been accused of being too much of a Pollyanna on the subject---but, part of being grown up is knowing when your bitching is futile and putting your time to something that makes a difference!! So, yeah, I'm right there with you: blinders up and mind wide open.


At 10:50 AM, Blogger Miss Sassy said...

No bitching about the holidays.
Love the little things.
I hear ya.
I'll Sharpie that on the back of my hands.
Think it'll stay til New Years?

At 4:26 PM, Blogger Oregon Coast said...

What ARE blogs, except bitchfests at the idiosyncrasies of life???? Some people bitch too much in person. I avoid them. They drain me. I bitch on my blog, therefore if you happen to read it, you have to log in, make a choice.

Also, I think some people view my rantings in other than the sarcastic way I'm presenting them.

Those blinders would explain that trash situation this morning...

At 4:24 PM, Blogger Amma Ancy said...

Uh, Tom? Your ancestors did not work the comstock! Your Great Grandfather John owned the local tavern (no Irish drinking jokes please, it's too easy.) Ask your Uncle Jack for all the details.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home