I Can Explain

When it comes to Christmas I am truly Ebenezer Scrooge reincarnated. I admit it. I wish I knew the reason but I just cannot get into the Christmas spirit. I never have. Maybe it is my childhood. I can remember a few Christmas mornings as a child when my parents were around that were happy but after my mom died I think my Christmas spirit died as well.

Over the years, I’ve grown cynical of Christmas. I’ve run out of good gift ideas, gotten fed up with the shopping mall feeding frenzy, and been downright been pissed off at ungrateful people. It’s made me want to write off the whole ridiculous holiday (told you I was a Scrooge).

4I have tried to get pumped up by listening to Christmas music but for every “Oh Holy Night”, the Nat King Cole or Ray Charles version of course, I have to endure “The Christmas Shoes” or the damn Hippopotamus song. I just can’t deal with that.

We watched Christmas Vacation, Elf, It’s A Wonderful Life like we do every year but that doesn’t do it. (Cousin Eddie is one of the best characters ever created.) For every good Christmas movie like the ones mentioned above, you have that one movie. You know the movie. It gets shoved down our throats every Christmas. I think it’s TBS that marathons it for 24 hours, because they hate you and want you to be unhappy. It’s got a bunch of people you don’t care about in it. There’s the Red Ryder BB gun and the tongue on the pole and all that garbage. Ugh, I regret that I felt so compelled to express my contempt for A Christmas Story I have to think about it right now.

I’m not that fond of turkey. I am told not only Thanksgiving we have to eat turkey but now for some reason we have to eat it on Christmas too. When did this happen? I always try something different to keep from eating turkey. A couple of Christmases ago I seared a tenderloin at my aunt’s house that created so much smoke that I was threatened with a lifetime Christmas ban. They aren’t really into sushi either. Please don’t get me started on fruitcake. The only good use is for Christmas presents for people you hate.

Maybe its the commercialization of Christmas that stokes my inner Scrooge. It seems like the very people who complain about the true meaning of Christmas are the very ones who have a nativity scene in the front yard with Santa leering over baby Jesus. It just seems like the whole Christmas thing is such a farce.

I am a Scrooge. However there is hope. I know the true meaning of Christmas as I have rediscovered over the years. I am fortunate that I volunteer at a soup kitchen and this Christmas morning as I have in Christmases past I will stop by and visit and see the little kids who will not be at their home running down the stairs in anticipation of what Santa has brought them but they will be at a soup kitchen on a day the weather people are saying could be very nasty. They will be there with their single mom or single dad, or maybe they will be lucky enough to have both parents. This isn’t a Hallmark movie, it is real life. I think that God loves the poor. He is among them. And if we are going to celebrate the birth of his Son with any sense of conscience, we must be with them, too. At least that is my opinion. As it turns out, it’s not about holiday specials and sugar cookies, god awful fruitcake or about getting everything you ever wanted. To me it’s about the dirty and downtrodden and nearly-forgotten. Over the years I have learned what December 25 is really about and that is compassion. Christmas belongs to the poor. Let’s not forget that. We should be raising our glasses to them, to the outcast and the hungry, the handicapped and oppressed. Maybe if we’re lucky, they’ll let us in on the true spirit of the season.

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