By Mac Moore
December rolls around and everybody is in an uproar. The world is just full of fogies and cynics that can’t stand the holidays. Yes, radio stations start playing Christmas music way too early. Yes, it is hard to tell the difference between the go-getters that put up Christmas lights early and those that were just too lazy to take them down after the holidays last year.
None of that takes away from the magic of the holidays. I’m not one of those people singing carols as I over decorate the tree. It is also rare to find me rocking the Santa hat and I never turn my yard into the greatest light show ever to ruin my neighbors’ sleep habits. That’s not me, yet I still understand the positive attitudes that come with the holidays should not be cramped by my scrooge-like nature.
The season is full of joy from people that do have the spirit of Christmas. Surprisingly, those Christmas songs are played early because many listeners can’t get enough of “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” The stations play them because there is a sizable demographic that will tune in. Luckily I have all sorts of outlets for non-holiday tunes, from online stations to my Christmas-devoid iPod.
I will admit, it is overbearing sometimes seeing how much Christmas is milked for all it’s worth. The craziness that surrounds Black Friday is bonkers. The numerous occurrences of tragedy the day after we celebrate what we are thankful for is sad, but that’s not all the holidays are.
Growing up poor, the holidays have always been something for me to look forward to. My youth was filled with my parents breaking their backs to make sure they could keep the power on, the rent paid, and food on the table. Many of my friends got presents throughout the year and Christmas was just the jackpot. Not everybody is so lucky.
Some years all I got was a stocking filled with fruit, candy, hot wheels cars, or whatever else my parents could afford. Some years all I got was clothing, usually a coat that I needed for the winter months or pants because I had outgrown the previous hand-me downs. One year I got a PlayStation. Basically, it was the greatest thing ever.
I can’t imagine how childhood would have been without something in my stocking. Every year, no matter the hardships, my parents found a way to give me something that would bring a smile to my face, something to make me think that this year might be better than the last.
I hear those atrocious Christmas songs at the department store. Their giant tree stares me down in mid-November before I’ve even bought the turkey. It does as little for me as it does for the old curmudgeons.
But I don’t feel the need to attack the holidays. I just imagine the look of the child that knows joy is right around the corner. I imagine the child that indulges in the mysticism of a jolly, fat fellow sliding down the chimney. That red attired man does it in one night, attempting to bring joy to all the good boys and girls.
The use of Christmas for commercialism kind of sucks – I get that. It sucks for the adults that have to see the world for what it is. But for that child, maybe it’s worth me ignoring the radio for a month or so. One month of negative for me is probably worth the positive that it creates for everybody else.
Contact Mac Moore, sports editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.