Far be it from I to wantonly tarnish the splendor of the Holiday season. To moor the Christmas Spirit with an anchor of Grinchery is most certainly not my intent. The notion is merely to reel it in a bit, to wrangle it down from the lofty height that over the years it seems to have attained. In fact, I wish to make evident that any disdain for this most cherished of seasons is, by no minor degree, an echo of its ever emboldening assertion. There was a day, in the not too distant past, when Christmas time was quietly tasteful, when its sober nostalgia was part and parcel of its charm. The years, however, have not been so kind to dear old Father Christmas, and he has become belligerently intoxicated with his own merriment. He has taken to meandering about obscenely, obliging all those within earshot to gulp down the stuff of his foolery. Christmas festivity is not only unavoidable, it is unrelenting and unmistakably insincere. The purveyors of Christmas cheer have become either ignorant of, or aggressively opposed to, any benefit offered by the practice of moderation. Now, of course I expect to be subjected to Holiday music when in public places, especially establishments of commerce; I may at times even delight in its familiarity. Even so, the very air need not be vigorously awash with deafening gingerbreadedness. Upon entry to the local grocery store, must I be saluted by a small army of trumpeters attempting “Oh Come All Ye Faithful”? The supermarket exists for the procurement of avocados, bacon, and Kleenex; the Christmas Bizarre at the Catholic school six blocks down is for trumpeters. Furthermore, there seems no better method to deter the charity of others than to incessantly petition by way of guilt inducing clamor. The persistent jingle of said unnamed charity is disturbingly akin to the tin cup and loose change of a Dickensian beggar. Surely, sad, dingy beggars seem a poor ad campaign for the spread of Christmas joy.
Truthfully, the executives at the North Pole would be wise to restaff their entire marketing department. Take for example, the once honorable task of creating stories to pass on the values and ideals of the season, and the utter mockery of this tradition by recent generations. The warm, fuzzy respectability of A Christmas Carol, the adorable innocence of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, the solemn gentility of A White Christmas–all trampled by the likes of action heroes knee-deep in comic baffoonery, and comic baffoons engrossed in spiritual moralizing and profound character evaluation. Furthermore, if one should seek respite from this pretentious festivity in, say, a delightful stroll through a quiet neighborhood, ye be sorely disappointed. Gone are the days of reverence and modesty in the decoration of one’s home. It seems the private sector has adopted the outrageous promotion of good tidings from the official campaign up North. Haphazard menageries of Griswaldian rank have strangled the tasteful custom of days past in a tangled mess of flickering icicles. Acres of over-sized snow globes, whole families of winterized penguins, even cartoonish misrepresentations of Santa himself, all serve only to satiate the hungers of the recently endowed BB-gunner. If I may be so bold; Holiday light displays are now tantamount to a great beauty who despoils her natural radiance with unsparing makeup and indecent dress. A certain name denotes these characteristics, and it is not synonymous with jolly or mirth. Pitching the entire collection of Christmas bric-a-brac from the attic to the lawn makes not a majestic homage to the season’s ideal.
These are but a few illustrations of the over-inflated, ingenuous evolution of Christmas cheer. The entire season has all the demure nobility of a Vegas showgirl. Again, though it may seem so, my object is not the heartless lambasting of a precious legacy. To the contrary, I wish only to tamp down such Yuletide zealotry in an attempt to preserve the very sanctity of a tradition founded on glory and hallowed remembrance. The perpetrators of humbugedness come not from my brood; indeed they are the very party so fanatically decadent in their own exposition of Christmas joy. We all know some unpleasant soul, who acts with upstanding intent yet overbearing address, swiftly wearing down their welcome with artificial joviality–that poor kid trying so hard to make friends that he repels them by desperation. Christmas is dangerously close to being un-friended for its self-righteous and didactic posts. The fire of seasonal glee is getting out of hand and we may be forced to run for the hose. So please, for the sake of modesty, humility, and respectability, turn the Holiday thermostat down just a touch.