following essay was produced as part of my 2013 effort for the
November National Novel Writing Month effort. As such, please
understand that while I did give it a quick review, it has not
gone through the same proofreading and editing I normally try
to give all of the material posted on this site.
always make some mistakes. There are errors to be found throughout
this web site, and many exist despite dozens of attempts to correct
problems. That said, ask that you approach this material in the
spirit intended – a basic thought, slightly worked out and very
informally researched, delivered in the hopes of writing more
than 50,000 words by the end of November.
~ ~ ~
Christmas season has begun.
know for some stores it began about 16 weeks ago.
Thanksgiving is behind us… and when you are no longer considering
the shopping and the advertising and the whatever, and are instead
focused on the holiday and holiday events… I think we can all
agree that the rush to Santa Claus is now on.
you clear Thanksgiving, the get togethers… be it family or friends
(or work)… tend to involve the holiday season. The weather begins
to make a turn from fall to winter. If not with snow, then with
leaves gone from the trees and the ground getting harder and the
days so much shorter.
you get past Thanksgiving, the leaves should be raked, and your
outdoor Christmas decorations pretty much in place. It’s a weird
summary, and maybe when dealing with leaves and snow it’s a northern
summary to be sure, but it just seems that Turkey Day is a corner
turned to directly face the December festivities.
Christmas tree? Sure… and if you get a live one, even the earliest
of decorators tend to purchase it over the long Thanksgiving weekend
and not before.
the pace picks up for shopping. Not all shopping mind you… but
if you expect to find stocking stuffers and certain items, once
November is gone the chocolate Santas tend to be disappearing
as well. Buying a chocolate Santa on December 1st may seem early…
but just try finding a good one after the 15th.
this isn’t perfect. But the general idea I’m trying to approach
is based on a realistic atmosphere and not the artificial mass
are people that will tell you they can tell when it’s going to
snow… some say they can smell it in the air. And I do know what
they mean. It’s not enough for it to be overcast on a day when
you can see your breath. That doesn’t make snow. There’s almost
a static electricity feel in the air for some snow storms. There’s
something different about it.
so it is when the calendar is being flipped from November to December.
You can sense the real thing. Shopping and icicle lights don’t
make Christmas. There’s something different about it.
is the season that most family and friends tend to think about
each other… remember those they may wish they had better communication
or contact with… and hold gatherings. Weekends fill up. Days fly
by. And suddenly it’s Christmas Eve and too late to add anything
of my friends always have an orange in their stocking.
of my friends claim to get at least one piece of coal in their
stocking… a family arrangement with Santa that explains that while
you were good overall, there were some moments where you could
have been better.
believe in wrapping all of the presents in a stocking… some open
a present (or more) on Christmas Eve… some watch A Christmas
me and my family, it’s always a chocolate Santa.
somehow Santa Claus and The
Christmas Kangaroo keep true to the meaning
and different celebrations that are treasured by each family.
funny thing is… when it comes to several holidays, such as Thanksgiving,
Christmas and Easter… a lot of the family traditions and histories
and memories are sealed with chocolate.
my family… I recall the great Easter Bunny trials… when someone
was stealing bites from my chocolate bunny.
calls, e-mails, and all sorts of covert operations have gone into
planning the acquisition of the perfect chocolate Santa.
know we all put a lot of time and attention into some incredible
ideas around Christmas. And some wander off into lands of political
correctness and commercialism where many of us really shouldn’t
evil is it really to wish someone a Merry Christmas?
date actually is appropriate for selling merchandise on store
get the idea. For many, so much seems to happen every year that
takes away from the true spirit of the season. And the marketing
machine would have you believe that as Labor Day ends… well… it’s
ok for the same timing that indicates that white shoes should
be put away can also signal breaking out the inflatable reindeer
at low discount prices and for holiday shopping to begin.
that’s putting it kindly.)
reality is simple… in two words… intent and tradition.
I believe in Christmas lists and putting thought into gifts, I
am not one for seeing Rudolph much before November is well underway.
you are saying “Merry Christmas” because you are wishing the best
for people, in sincere fashion, then I applaud you. Heck… I
encourage such behavior.
as soon as you complain that people are saying “Happy Holidays”
because you need to prove some sort of point, then I have two
completely different words to phrase my thoughts about your actions.
intent is supposed to be about finding the best… the best of family…
the best of friends… the best of neighbors… the best of mankind.
to that end comes the traditions… between parties and meals, presents
and embraces… the not only provide for cherished memories, but
also complete the celebrations with perfect moments and images.
is a plastic Santa Claus face that occasionally makes an appearance
on the house I grew up in. My Dad got it. Not sure where. But
if he was given it for free, he paid too much. And it became the
punchline of many jokes. Many, many, many jokes. Until
the year he decided not to bring it upstairs. And then everyone
wanted to know where it was.
may be funny. They may be annual moments acted out across generations.
As this Christmas season begins, I once again wish the very best
of them to you.
hope you find happiness. I hope you find yourself exactly where
you hope to be.
hope this and all the Christmas seasons bring you the best…