Now that my family is growing older, my kids are now all adults, I find I miss some of the things that used to be so special to us when they were younger, even when I was younger. It’s not just my kids changing, but the world around us. While I enjoy some of the changes, I don’t like what’s happening to Christmas. I really miss the holiday I fell in love with and was excited to see every year.
When my kids were younger, one of our favorite things to do during the Christmas holiday (from the day after Thanksgiving through New Year’s) was load the car and drive through the neighborhoods, looking at all the decorated houses. Perhaps part of my trepidation these past few years is bottled in the fact that there just aren’t many houses decorated anymore. When I was a kid in the mid-70’s through the mid-80’s, you might have found one or two houses that were not covered in Christmas lights and decorations, but the rest seemed to try and outdo their neighbors, which of course was to our (the viewers) benefit. The town’s main strips were covered with lighted displays, with garland wrapped around their posts, and storefront window were decorated with decals, feaux snow and Christmas trees. Usually in the center of town, or at one of the larger shops, stood huge a community-centered decorated Christmas tree, where there was a big celebration at the lighting. Throughout the holiday season, one could see choirs gathered at malls, churches, on street corners and outside venues, and you’d find Santas outside store fronts or the mall, with huge lines of kids waiting to sit upon his lap and tell him their fondest wishes. In the 90’s, there seemed to be a huge decline in decorated houses, perhaps one in ten, and the city decorations went from overwhelming to a few, and parades, lighting ceremonies, carolers and choirs, became far and few between.
I daydreamed as a child of being able to share this fantasy Christmas experiences with my own children, because of how much excitement, happiness and joy they brought me. Perhaps coming from an abusive home, this dream meant a bit more to me than most. This holiday symbolized all that I hoped for in a family. Now, there are no more street-filled neighborhoods of decorated houses. In my own subdivision, you might find one house out of twenty-five, with minimal decorations. While our city puts up lighted decorations on a few of the street lights, the shops along Main Street are void of any adornments, and there’s no central town Christmas Tree or lighting ceremony, no carolers, no choirs and no Santa Claus.
Where has Christmas gone?
I understand there’s a war on Christmas, attacking the ‘religious’ aspect of the holiday in the name of Political Correctness. These idiots don’t want Christmas trees in, around, or on government property, Santa at schools, students attending Christmas plays, city decorations, carolers, or choirs (if they mention Christ). Shame on them! When I was a child, I had NO religious affiliation, I didn’t attend church or synagogue, yet I LOVED Christmas. I loved the feel of the joy, the compassion of the community, the sense of excitement, the celebration, and the love. I LOVED the lights and decorations. I had heard the Christmas story about the baby in the manger, but thought of it no more than the story of Santa and his reindeer. Now we (the community) have no stories, no lights, no celebration and therefore, no joy, no peace, no love and no Christmas spirit. The only reference to Christmas (though most call it “Holiday”) I hear are what sales are being held on the countless commercials, what gifts to buy, and where are the best places to get the best bargains. If not for the bombardment of Hallmark, Lifetime and ABC Family Christmas movies, I wouldn’t even know the holidays were here. I find them sad to watch, because in the world in which I live, the ideals and celebrations in those movies are not present in my community. They’re as much fantasy as Santa.
Where has Christmas gone?
Do I buy presents just to buy presents? Do I shop, just to get a deal? Do I visit relatives just because it’s the thing to do? I do these things throughout the year, so why should Christmas be any different? I didn’t love Christmas for those things, I LOVED it for the celebration, the bringing together of our community, and the displayed expression from my fellow neighbor. Those are the things now missing.
I hope the PC police have a Happy Holiday, because they’ve done a great job stealing my Merry Christmas. Bah-Humbug!
Till next time,