Mom got in safe and sound, even with poor weather between here and Massachusetts. Now, we have to think of things to do between meals (but we do like to eat!). Right now she's asleep on my loveseat, so I figured a good time to post a quick note on the holiday season.
Many nice people have asked me, that since I'm an agnostic, why I like Christmas. The answer is simple, and apropos to me being an adman, that I like the tangible aspects even though I can't relate to the spiritual ones. Wrapping presents, and although I'll admit I failed that subject in grade school, is strangely comforting and rewarding. You take something tangible, a gift that touches a person's needs or wants, and wrap it up in pretty paper so they can enjoy a little surprise.
Christmas cards are another good marketing idea. I get happy when your cards show up, and when they have a little note inside detailing how little Johnny is doing, or Auntie Erma is slipping, etc. -- I know at my age that they're not personal -- but maybe there's a quick note telling me: "Hey, hang in there, my buddy Dipshit is going through a divorce, and if he can make it, so can you!" This does not exactly exude the holiday spirit, but at a minimum I know that Pissturd, my fraternity brother fifteen years ago, still cares enough to give me a "hi" and send a more personal hello. New children, new jobs, whatever is in the note, it's still nice to feel and absorb a piece of paper instead of reading FB and/or finding out stuff in 135-word-or-less snippets. Makes one feel magnanimous that people do care, to some degree, even though they could possibly be at the gunpoint of their S/O to get their f*cking cards done, but that once a year, they check in and give a minor personal connection.
I'm also a sucker for Xmas-related shorts and film. Can't wait until Saturday when I can watch "The Christmas Story" at least four times before my elderly mother biffs me with her cigarette carton. Same goes for the "Charlie Brown Christmas" -- this I like not for the worst Christmas tree ever, but instead for the soundtrack. I've debated friends and foes on why this is such a good animated short -- their argument is mainly for the Linus manger-scene-speech, but I've argued, and will argue still, that the ice rink skating scene at the opening is the best. Once Snoopy comes on, and dumps the kids helter-skelter, I'm in, especially with the Guiraldi twinklings. Other movies that I'm in on, no matter what, and in no particular order or no reason related to this post, and missing many, are: "The Departed," "Bull Durham," and "Four Weddings and a Funeral." No rhyme or reason there. But don't get me started on "The Grinch" -- I know the song and will sing it to you if you bother me at work.
This isn't the best column I've written thus far, but I'm trying to tell y'all that there is good out there, and that this is the right time to acknowledge it regardless of one's convictions. There's good times and bad times, yet we all live though them. Last year I was a hermit and didn't go out at all. Blew chunks, not recommended.This year, I got a tree, outdoor lights, and spent a happy many hours wondering how scissors worked while I cut wrapping paper. Plus, tape can be interesting. A random piece was evacuated off my derriere -- how did that get there? And why was I naked?
Mom and I will nosh through Madison the next few days, and then our holiday will arrive on Sunday (yep, I get the kids one day late, but that's a good thing!).
My best wishes to all friends and family, have a safe and happy holiday weekend, and I'll be snarky again next week.