Bah, double humbug! Christmas: a pagan celebration perpetuated by greedy, large retail corporation. What? You think Walmart or Costco care if you have a happy holiday season? Only if you’ve spent to the point of debt and their shelves need re-stocking. Materialism. How did we get this far into the potlatch mentality? How did we fall so deeply into the mantra, “greed is good?”
Every Christmas some well-intended soul decides to reject purchased gifts and go for the homemade or hand crafted offerings to friends and family, especially here in Revelstoke where we have such a plethora of professional and amateur artisans. But what really happens? ‘Oh, isn’t that sweet, how quaint (whispering to self) cheap bugger, he knew I wanted an iPad.’ Santa? As Saturday Night Live pointed out, rearrange the letters and you get Satan.
The modern Santa is a big corporation’s (Coca Cola) invention to convince you you’ll never make it through Christmas and New Year without large doses of a sugary, child-behaviour-altering pop. Jolly old St. Nick only disappoints kids as they quickly learn he is not for real, then you’re disappointed that they’re not disillusioned anymore; loss of innocence, rather, gullibility. Christmas movies? Most of them have become sappy attempts at phony emotionalism, with second-rate actors, Made-in-America for TV, for the desperate lowest-common-denominator viewer market. There are only half a dozen good ones. Half of them were made in the 1930s and ’40s: Little Shop Around the Corner, It’s a Wonderful Life and The Bishop’s Wife. As for the more recent festive flicks… Scrooged, Home Alone and The Santa Clause (correct spelling in this case). Honourable mention? My personal favourite, How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Personal debt increases at Christmas. The suicide rate goes up. Depression increases. There’s more uncontrolled drinking. For many it’s the most stressful time of year. Materialism disappoints and makes us feel worse. The list goes on.
Getting engaged at Christmas? How cliche. Brian McGannon, writing for postgradproblems.com says, “it’s unoriginal, just so incredibly lame, foolish and self-centered, should be about family and friends, not your relationship and you’ll still have to get her a Christmas present after dumping a bundle on the ring.” Could make her feel inadequate because she can’t reciprocate in kind, and you’re in debt. “An engagement is not a Christmas present, it’s a commitment, not something that’s on the level of socks and electric razors.”
It all sounds pretty bleak. Of course! The Christmas season starts with Black Friday kicking off our annual festival of avarice.
However, there are bright shining beams of hope and a large one lands right here in Revelstoke. We thank volunteers.
I have lived in a few places in Canada and visited many more. I have never seen another town that is as good at showing gratitude to unpaid volunteers as our little burg. Our media is quite vigorous at it, especially this journal with its many pictures and names of those who give of themselves. (Ya, I know. I’m sounding like a real homer.)
You can’t thank volunteers enough! If you find reading about them boring or drippingly sweet, you should try it sometime.
Oh, and a reminder. Always say ‘reminder’, especially to volunteers. ‘Don’t forget’ sounds like they will. It’s mildly insulting. Say ‘don’t forget’ to a kid and what do you get? Ya, ya, ya, blah, blah, blah.
Another reminder; always thank the employers of the volunteer firefighters who allow their employees to drop and run at a moment’s notice.
I better sign off now, before I ruin my reputation.
Merry frigg’n Chri$tma$!
Yours in social sarcasm,
Ms. Anne Throap
Pet peeve of the month: Selfies of you and the Christmas turkey. Ho ho hum hum, and pics of little Biffy unwrapping the latest Star Wars toys. They just prove you are a sucker for high pressure advertising.