CHRISTMAS CHEERS AND JEERS
For whatever reason this little funny cracks me up and now every time I drive through my neighborhood and one of the numerous wire deer have blown over in the wind I laugh and tell my kids, “Oh look, they have a flat.”
Where did all the blow up figures come from? Was a memo sent out stating that blow up dolls as tall as a house are a must have for this year and I missed it? Various sizes and poses of Santas, snowmen, Grinches, Christmas trees, and even a yheti holding a star decorate the yards. It’s like the Pillsbury Doughboy’s relatives are taking over.
My two favorite commercials aired back to back the other day. Toys R Us is airing a commercial in which Santa sits on a young man’s lap in the middle of the store reading from a long list of toys. The young man, looking a bit freaked at elves playing with toys in the aisle and a reindeer calmly walking by finally says, “Uhh, Santa, I can’t feel my leg no more.” To which Santa, making no effort to move, replies in a puzzled voice, “Oh.” I love clueless Santa.
My second favorite commercial has nothing to do with Christmas which is probably why I’m finding it so humorous. A man on a horse dismounts and ties the horse’s reins to a hitching post going so far as to brace his foot against the post to make sure they’re tied tight. He then hits a remote control. “Beep. Beep.” Secure that horse cowboy! One cowboy on the porch watching asks, “Who is that?” Another replies, “That’s a man who gets his salsa from New York City.” Kathy cracks up. I think it’s the incongruity between the beep beep and the tough cowboys that hits my funny bone.
Sunny 99.1 in Houston has annoyed me so much that I’ve turned off my car radio. The week before Thanksgiving they began playing Christmas music 24/7. I could handle periods of nonstop Christmas music except their line-up consists of a core group of maybe 8 songs. “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”, “Winter Wonderland”, “Let It Snow”, “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” play endlessly in a politically correct line up. Apparently, we’re having Christmas, but they’re not acknowledging any deep meanings. Pfft! I’m perfectly willing to acknowledge that the season includes Kwanzaa, Solstice, and Hanukah right along with Christmas and to listen to songs for those holidays. No songs available? How about information explaining the meaning of each holiday? Inquiring minds would appreciate learning about the beliefs and customs of other people. But for goodness sakes, let’s hear some real Christmas music – a couple “Oh Come All Ye Faithful’s”, “Silent Night’s”, and “Joy To The World’s” mixed in with the politically correct exhortations for snow would be appropriate. Oh, and “Silent Night” played as an upbeat country song doesn’t count as Christmas music, emphasis on twang and steal guitar. That’s just wrong.
No one should be allowed to sing “Blue, Blue Christmas” except Elvis. No exceptions.
My beloved Christian station, KSBJ, hasn’t done much better. Busy pushing their artists of choice and fun songs, traditional music, sung in recognizable tunes, has become rarer than “We Three Kings”. Last year I heard umpteen versions of “Angels We Have Heard On High” and this year I can’t find a “Hark The Herald Angels Sing” to save my life. (If I hear “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” one more time I may scream. As it is my kids and I race to hit the off button whenever it plays.)
And for the record, I am NOT dreaming of a white Christmas. The reason I live in a warm climate is because I prefer not to endure the 32 degrees and lower temps necessary for a white Christmas. Since a larger portion of the country doesn’t generally enjoy (ahem, read suffer through) a white Christmas, I’d love it if the radio stations would lay off endless songs about the weather. Snow is not a prerequisite for Christmas.
Our school district has also jumped on the politically correct train changing every reference to Christmas to Winter – winter break, winter party, winter play. Bah! At the very least, they could call it a holiday break and acknowledge the fact that school is out for holiday celebrations.
I feel like I’ve waded through a lot of muck to find Christmas this year. It’s been hard work creating a meaningful Christmas season and selectively participating in activities such as Angel Tree, donating teddy bears and food because the glitz of commercialism must never be allowed to dominate the season. Despite what Hallmark believes, they are not the makers of Christmas traditions and Kodak moments. Each person, each family is allowed to do that for themselves.
In between commercials for Old Navy and J.C. Penney, I’ve managed to watch a Christmas special or two. I conquered bad Christmas music programming by carrying my Christmas CD’s in the car with me. In between stacks of Elmo’s and kitchen appliances, I think I’ve purchased gifts that are appropriate for my family and friends. It’s been a tough, uphill battle at times. A little battered I’ve muddled through. “Mary’s boy child, Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas day” and Jesus is the reason for my season. I intend to keep it that way.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
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