Just a touch of the Scrooge
It seems I always begin the Christmas season with an attitude worthy of Scrooge. I really don't know why for sure, since I can think of no better joy than to give a gift to someone. I have pondered this phenomenon for some years and I don't know for sure just what the problem is.
I know that I love the lights and decorations associated with Christmas. I often take the long way home at night to look at different houses and I could catalogue the wonderful sights from years past with exacting detail. My memories of childhood Christmases are filled with wonder and excitement. Mattel Shoot-N-Shell revolvers and cowboy hats from my childhood are just as wondrous to me as the Star Wars toys and figures that captured the time and attention of my son and I during several seasons.
I have been the one in my family that got up and made sure that everyone was hurrying to open presents and get started with the day. I still find myself listening for hoof beats on the roof when I awake in the middle of the night before Christmas. I have always been the major cook for the holiday meal, spending hours in the kitchen baking, roasting, sautng and glazing the traditional meal for Christmas. I love every aspect of the time.
I admit to being in a state of rapture as others open their gifts and I rise to the challenge of finding that one special gift for each person that will hopefully make the day a very special day. The quest begins early in the summer as I listen to those significant people in my life, mining their conversations for that one nugget that will lead me to the perfect gift.
So why the humbug right after Thanksgiving? I wish I knew.
I think maybe it has something to do with the overlapping of the two major holidays of the year. Thanksgiving should be earlier or Christmas later. I have a hard time enjoying both of them the way I want to. And yet, they certainly do fold into each other. Thanksgiving is the prelude to Christmas. It leads us to count our blessings and deny the negative of the past year. Christmas is the culmination of that counting and gives each of us an opportunity to tangibly express that gratitude to God and those significant people in our lives. It is, or at least should be, the very expression of our appreciation of life and the impact that others have on our life.
I also think that maybe it is just a game I play with myself. Perhaps a self-defense mechanism that keeps me from overloading with emotion and appearing to be less stoic than my personal image suggests I should be. After all, a person of my size should be a rock of fortitude in the storms of life. At least that is the way I have always been told it should be.
I believe that many are just like me. We seem to have lost the mystery and wonder of Christmas. We look with jaded eye on the Tree Lighting ceremonies, holiday parties and wishes of good cheer, secretly wanting to be convinced again that our cynicism is just a game we play with ourselves to hide the expectation of joy and awe that are considered childish most of the rest of the year. We really do want to give in to those "childish" yearnings and just let go, letting the hilarity of Christmas have full rein with us. We want to believe that the ultimate expression of humanness is giving. We hunger to be childish in our response to people open warm inclusive. Unfortunately, we also need to be convinced all over again. At least it seems that I do.
So for the next few days, I will practice my jaded look, work up a good Scrooge complex, and privately, when no one is around to watch, I will get ready for Christmas. I will try to make it hard to be convinced, just to keep up pretenses. I know I will be convinced just in the St. Nick of time but for now it's "Two Bahs, A Humbug and easy on the Fa-La-La's."
Dec. 10 Basketball Coaches clinic 1 p.m. at the high school
Dec. 15 Holiday Lights judging
Dec. 25-26 Office closed for Christmas Holiday.
Jan. 1 Office closed for New Year Holiday.
Jan. 6 Youth Basketball Clinic at Baker 9 a.m.
Jan. 13 First games for the basketball season
Basketball Teams have been selected: You should be hearing from the coaches soon. They will let you know about practice schedules and the like. Coaches, please call your kids if you haven't yet.
Holiday Lights Contest: We will again be judging and awarding a bit of the cool green for your holiday lights. I am hoping that we will be better able to take pictures of the winners for inclusion in the paper at a later date. The USD 348 newsletter outlines the areas in which we will award prizes. Help make our community a more picturesque place by doing your part. There's a hundred bucks in it to help pay for the electricity.
Monte the Dancing Bear still dancing. Baldwin City Recreation Commission, 820 High Street; Phone, 594-3670; e-mail, email@example.com.