Christmas is for kids or sorry Yule I’m just not that into you.
December 21, 2012
Children adore the holidays primarily for three reasons: the glam, the gifts and no more school. I suppose a rare kid or two truly appreciates Midnight Mass. But most prefer the G-rated hedonism of it all. I know I did. All that conspicuous consumption and two fat weeks to do it in! What’s not to like?
As we get older the dynamics change. We still like the break from school and work but perhaps the relentless pomp and circumstances have become less attractive. For one thing we no longer believe in Santa Claus. So there’s that. And now that we are expected to actually buy gifts for other people… well who signed up for that?
In addition, there’s an ever-growing tendency to avoid family and all its ‘trappings.’ The young adult at holiday time stops dreaming of granny’s sugarplums and is perhaps more interested in Sally next door. My how she’s grown! Sally, too, pines for more than a game of Clue by the fire. Her BF’s parents are in Mexico and it’s one big party. Everyone’s gonna be there! Escaping is the new holiday tradition.
By the time we are twenty the holidays are basically a few days off between visits to kin we no longer relate to.
Ah, but those days in between! Those were the best. Especially just before and after the actual holidays. I can still recall the relief and unmitigated pleasure of marching into my neighborhood bar the Friday following Thanksgiving. Friends seemed warmer. Drinks seemed colder. Not a parental unit in sight. Joy to the world!
Am I a cynic and Scrooge? Guilty as charged. I freely admit I cannot wait until January 2nd. Or for summer, with its balmy weather and lack of formal holidays -save Independence Day, which I’m okay with on account of my penchant for detonating explosives.
Yet, because I am a father of three young girls I make a concerted effort to be jolly between November 25th and December 25th. Needless to say, their mother does a better job of it than I do. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy roast turkey or my millionth screening of Rudolph. I do. In my opinion, The Island of Misfit Toys is a brilliant analog to creativity.
I know I should enjoy these precious moments. If for no other reason that in a few years my kids will be escaping me.