i was just a bit embarrassed. That is what started it all.
Tonight, i was driving home from a meeting right after sunset. The drive through our neighborhood looked more like a drive through a gaudy midway with all of the lights of the Christmas decorations.
There were icicle lights in droves hanging from the eaves. Colored lights were wrapped around everything not moving. Reindeer plastic skeletons were lit with care…and abundance. Blow up figures of every animal species known to man that had littered the yards during the day, were now glowing and puffed up into Pillsbury Dough Boy wannabes. Giant presents, lit of course, were strewn over the yards. A few homes, including two of our neighbors had this new stuff, green and red tiny points of light shimmering on everything from a projection gizmo. Figures of Santa, elves, snowflakes, and Lord knows what else wandering around garage doors. This stuff was everywhere, nearly every yard.
i pulled into my driveway and there was my puny, handmade “NOEL” sign. That’s it except for the Christmas tree, a number of music boxes my sister has given our daughter every year, and a few other decorations inside the house.
i felt ashamed. No, that’s not right. i blamed everyone else for playing the “Christmas Vacation” game of greatest number of lights and decorations and felt smug for a few minutes.
It all got me to thinking in the screwy way i have of going about thinking.
i don’t like the commercialization of Christmas. i don’t like being bombarded by Christmas commercials from every media when it’s still late summer. i don’t like Christmas becoming a huge big party with lots of partying, celebration, and forgetting why it’s the reason for the season as they say. i mean i’m not a big churchgoer, but hey, even if you don’t believe, all this stuff was begun over two thousand and years ago because there was this pretty special kid born under some pretty exceptional circumstances. i mean until some politically correct yahoo tried to ignore it and rename it, our calendar year is based on when this young baby grew up and died in pretty rough fashion.
But then i got to thinking about it. Some people i know are of different faiths than Christianity. Some don’t believe. But they all love Christmas, even though some have tried to claim it’s the holiday season, not Christmas time. Sensitive souls they must be i guess. Way too sensitive to be healthy for them. They celebrate also. They light up the world. They sing carols although other yahoos seem intent on ruining that. They get together with friends and family.
And everyone of them focus on giving gifts to others. Charities of every version for every purpose weighs in and we all give to help in some noble cause.
So thinking about it in my weird way, it occurred to me that the guy who started all of this, that little baby, is probably just fine with that. After all, he really wanted the world to be better, people to be kinder to each other, to enjoy each other, to treat others as they would want to be treated. And at least for a couple of weeks every winter, most of us do exactly that.
So neighbors, shine on.
And a merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night.