Thursday, December 18, 2014

Random Christmas Thoughts

‘Tis the season…for many to hold to religious ideals not necessarily so stridently adhered to the other 364 days (or counting Easter, 363), and belief in a jolly old fat man bearing gifts for the nice but not the naughty passed down to a new generation. Unless, of course, you were able to stomp, trample and fight your way to huge savings on Black Friday deals! Just as Jesus (and Santa) would do, right? [*MATERIALISTIC PROMOTION ALERT* Know an avid reader? Still need a gift or stocking stuffer? Check out my books -]
It’s that time of the year to gather together and enjoy festive foods. Which means holiday trays and platters – the same ones left behind and reused from last year’s party. Don’t deny it; in a manner of speaking, whether holiday or not, we all do this sort of "re-gifting." And probably with the same fruitcake on it…from the same fruitcake who brought it to last year’s party.

What is a wish list other than not-so-subtly polite suggestions of gifts that you prefer others buy, rather than them getting you something crappy. Again. "It’s the thought that counts" doesn’t hold up to modern sensibilities, especially when it comes to getting the correct gift not the appreciated one. Therefore, we rush out to spend money we really don’t have on presents for people really not deserving of them. All because it’s on their wish list.

Is there an extended cut or sequel to It’s A Wonderful Life where Mr. Potter is visited by the ghosts of Christmases? Doesn’t seem fair that George Bailey – mind you, completely innocent of events about to unfold – has to agonize and examine his life because of Potter’s unscrupulousness – mind you, no thanks to Uncle Billy’s forgetfulness – without some sort of Scrooge-esque absolution for Potter as well.

They’re called Christmas cards. Not Christmas pictures, and certainly not Christmas newsletters. Yep, the dreaded seasonal newsletter. Listen, we’re all very impressed with your yearly accomplishments…not to mention making the rest of us look like procrastinators, slackers and non-caring friends who didn’t know about half the things outlined in your newsletter.

Darren McGavin is the dad in A Christmas Story; Gavin MacLeod is Captain Stubing in The Love Boat. When I was younger, this was the Dermot Mulroney/Dylan McDermott name twister mix-up of its day for me.

If you remove all the words from "Deck the Halls," you’re left only with lines of Fa la la la la la la la la. It’s the essay-filler "very, very, very" of Christmas songs.

Although typically only one or (rarely) two verses ever are heard when sung, there actually are four verses in the song "Jingle Bells." Moreover, it was written as a Thanksgiving/winter-themed song titled "One Horse Open Sleigh," attributed to John Pierpont in 1857. The song only became popular thereafter during Christmas due to the chorus’ titular "jingle bells" refrain – ironically, a reference to the type of signal used by sleigh riders at blind intersections (like a modern automobile horn) than any type of holiday bell.

What if instead of traveling around Christmas Eve to deliver presents, Santa Claus never leaves the North Pole by using teleportation/wormhole technology to do the job? Certainly, it would make the task easier, and, even more, would explain how he secretly enters billions of homes in a limited time. Maybe, he simply goes out in the sleigh with all the reindeer for marketing/public relations and for a little festive fun.

Each year, the variously varied variances in the diverse decorations displayed alike throughout the nation’s nascent and niche neighborhoods are amazing, astonishing and astounding. It demonstrates how similar and united we are, and can be, in our differences, and vice versa. 

©2014 Steve Sagarra

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