Monday, November 27, 2006

Bah Humbug!

We come once again to that time of year, when I get to tell the world once again why I hate Christmas.

I don't hate "Christ Mass" as the birth of Our Savior. Every year I attend Midnight Mass at the little Greek Catholic church that time forgot, and the decades need not improve. No, it's the Hollywood and Madison Avenue hype that precedes it, and which suddenly disappears on the 26th of the month. And it started earlier this year. Not content to wait until "Black Friday," the infamous day after Thanksgiving, many retailers opened their doors to the onslaught on Thursday evening. That's not as inconvenient as it sounds, considering that in the last five years, more restaurants are staying open on Thanksgiving Day.

IHOP came to the rescue that morning, as Paul was gracious enough to let me take him out for breakfast. This left him free as a bird the rest of the day, bless his heart. "Sal" and I were treated to Thanksgiving dinner that evening at -- you guessed it -- a fine restaurant, by her home care patient. A good time was had by all. Since I have enough turkeys in my life as it is, I settled for the prime rib.

Now, back to why I hate Christmas. In a word, Saturday. Sal got her present already, after going to three Macy's locations in search of the perfect matching set of luggage. Truly a woman to be admired, she handles the mall experience better than I ever could. This is for her thirty-day trip back to the Philippines in February. She's worth every penny of it -- assuming she comes back. Fortunately, since Tower Records is closing its doors by the end of the year, I was able to get a few good deals on some recordings I was seeking out for awhile anyway. They say the downloads on MP3 players are taking over. Personally, I think that applies mostly to the pop/rock market, while the specialty genres will still keep the music departments alive at book dealers like Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Thankfully, the madness will get easier after this. I already know what I want, and where it can be found. And I'm not hard to please. A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and Christopher Hogwood's recording of Handel's Messiah featuring the original Baroque instrumentation. Between all that and the right company, I'm in hog heaven. There might be a little vacation at the end of December. We wanted to see Williamsburg this year, and since I'm off school and it's not far away, we'd be back in time for New Year's Eve.

There will be more reasons why I hate Christmas in the weeks ahead. But I'd love to hear your reasons as well. After all, my devoted readers don't need convincing. But the rest of you might.

Humbug! It's humbug, I tell you!!!


Julie D. said...

Wait a minute, am I reading this right? Because it looks as if you are declaring a humbug because you and your wife went out shopping at the very sales you are decrying ... bought many items, therefore justifying to them their sales prices ... and now are complaining? A more serious humbug caller would, as did Scrooge, stay home and back up the declamations of humbug with serious non-joining. I call humbug on you! :-D

David L Alexander said...

"Wait a minute, am I reading this right?


Sal is not my wife. I ventured out at her behest, since she needed a ride.

Over the years, I have participated in this charade rarely, spreading the burden out over the year. But you're right about one thing; one can never be serious enough about one's non-joining. As to more of how I keep the true meaning of Christmas, you'll just have to become one of my legion of regular readers.

Just for a few more weeks.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you don't really hate Christmas. You just like Advent and want it back.


David L Alexander said...

Yo, Julie! What Matt said!!!

Anonymous said...

What I hate most about Christmas is having to buy presents for people who don't need anything and don't want anything.

One of these years I'm really going to carry out my threat to wrap up an empty box so they have something to open.