The Annual Dread of Christmas Shopping – Yeah…It’s That Time

Yeah…it is that time of year again. Do you ever get tired of celebrating the holidays? Admit it – you know it’s true. I do… We look at the holidays ahead with dread – not for the celebration – but for those agonizing shopping trips that begin on Black Friday when we’re all still full of Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing – and now retail has added the insult of Cyber Monday.

Sadists – all of them.

Retailers used to begin stocking stores with Christmas decorations right after Halloween. These days, the air conditioning is still roaring overhead and you are greeted with the twinkle of Christmas lights and artificial trees.


Do you know what I don’t get? The crazies that camp out and line up for the super Black Friday deals. Doors open and they storm the place. They beat each other up over a 20 percent discount. Are you kidding me? The time involved. I just don’t get it. You can always make more money. You cannot make more time. The sands of time run out and you will not get them back. And, to think, you spent eight hours in the dark and the cold to save a few bucks?

What are you – nuts?

I have all kinds of innovative ways to waste time – cruising Facebook, napping, spending an afternoon in YouTube, walking through Harbor Freight lusting after tools and equipment, and watching hours of The Dick Van Dyke Show and I Love Lucy.

Good productive wasted time…

My all-time favorite Christmas special is “A Charlie Brown Christmas” which originally aired on CBS December 9, 1965. We had just moved into our new home and the spirit of Christmas was so alive and it felt so good. We sat in front of a vintage Philco black and white console TV and watched this very first Peanuts special. I believe it was the first time Peanuts characters took on life and had voices.

A troubled Charlie Brown, the class misfit, just wasn’t in the Christmas spirit. Lucy set him up with the director’s job of the annual school Christmas play after copping his pocket change for walk up therapy from someone who wanted real estate for Christmas. Go figure. It took Linus to explain the true meaning of Christmas to Charlie Brown before an empty theater. Linus’ speech is legendary today. It brings tears to everyone’s eyes because it describes a sacred moment in history – a story that has lasted more than 2000 years.

There are those who want Linus’ speech dropped from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”… The title is “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. If you don’t like the speech, watch something else instead of trying to dictate to the rest of us what to watch. Regardless of what your religious beliefs may be, Linus’ explanation of the meaning of Christmas is especially moving. It is right up there with the song “Oh Holy Night…” which is very humbling no matter who you are.

Instead of quantity on Christmas Morning, I believe in quality – how you celebrate the holidays and who your heart is with. May each of you who reads this column have the love of family and friends whom you mean the world to. If you are very much alone, get involved in a charity or do volunteer work where you can give of yourself and make another feel loved and appreciated.

It will come back to you tenfold.

2 thoughts on “The Annual Dread of Christmas Shopping – Yeah…It’s That Time”

  1. Not to put too a fine a point on one you already made, there is no changing Christmas. Anyone so inclined can fuck off. It’s called Christmas for a reason. It has no race or gender qualifications. Everyone is free to celebrate, or not. Regardless of how much weight “free’ has lost in this country, it is still an individual right. You wanna wear sandals in the snow, not celebrate, be my guest. But don’t fuck with my Christmas. It’s possibly the last vestige of a Norma Rockwell America we have left.
    As for Peanuts, I recall my father getting my uncle, who owned a color TV, to let us come over and watch it in color. Color TVs not being what they are today I also recall the color being a little washed out. If you are old enough to remember CRT color TVs from the 60s through the seventies you know what I mean. I went to work in a video studio in 1977 and saw what color TV was supposed to look like.


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