There I was, trying to mind my own business and enjoy my favorite holiday when it happened. I got Scrooged. Did some negative Nelly try to rain on my Christmas parade? Not at all. I was attempting to celebrate Thanksgiving. I absolutely love Thanksgiving and what’s not to love about it? We take a big time out from our hectic capitalist lives to take measure of all of the goodness that we enjoy and we celebrate by feasting. In my house we celebrate it as Thanksgiving to God Day because we are Christians. You may not believe in god but still celebrate and that’s fine with me, viva America. I’ll take whatever I can get from people so long as they are being thankful because that’s ultimately what it’s all about. Stop, take inventory, be thankful. How can you possibly corrupt that other than allowing Black Friday to bleed into Thursday? Even then you’re not really corrupting Thanksgiving, you’re just cutting it short so we can get on with the gift grabbing season.
So, there I was, trying to mind my own business and enjoy Thanksgiving when memes similar to the following started popping up in my Facebook news feed.
The nerve of some people! What kind of cynical twisted soul must you be to hold such a view? (chuckle) I’m trying to express my thankfulness for my wife and children, family and friends, my possessions, my health and financial prosperity and you want me to be angry or guilty instead? Well, I responded by attempting to correct the historical record and teach the cynics what Thanksgiving is really all about but they would have none of it. In their hearts and minds Thanksgiving was a bad day and they weren’t going to celebrate it. Not only were they not going to celebrate it, they were going to continue to go out of their way to destroy the happiness and enjoyment of anyone who wanted to celebrate it. That made me angry until the light bulb came on in my head. In Christianity we call it a “personal revelation.” A brief moment of extreme clarity that we believe is brought on by the Holy Spirit speaking to us through our spirits so that it impacts the thoughts of our mind. The light that dawned in my head? I am one of those annoying people.
You may have picked up on my earlier reference to Christmas as the “gift grabbing season” and I must confess, I am not a lover of Christmas. Oh yes, as a child it was magical. Ho ho ho, mistletoe, Santa and his reindeer, putting out cookies and milk before I went to bed so Saint Nick could have a snack when he stopped at the Grauman’s, and stop he did. I would wake up early on Christmas morning and descend the stairs from my bedroom to a living room stuffed to the gills with gifts. My father never made much money as a teacher but he was a German who knew how to save and when the holiday rolled around he was armed with copious amounts of cash to spoil the children once a year.
I’m not sure what happened to me because I can’t remember anything specific that turned me into a Scrooge. I like to think maybe it happened when I realized that Santa was nothing but an adult lie contrived for their enjoyment with the side benefit of controlling our behavior. “Be good or else Santa won’t leave you many presents.” As a result, my wife and I never played the “Santa Game” with our kids. We told them the truth of the myth and it made us feel so righteous that we didn’t lie to them. “You can trust Momma and Papa because they will never lie to you.” We never did but I don’t know that it made any difference in the end other than to puff us up in our self-conceit and rob them of the classic American childhood experience.
Flash forward 40 years from the Santa-loving-boy and here I am sitting at my computer confessing my sins against Christmas because, like the cynics who go out of their way to destroy the enjoyment of Thanksgiving, I have gone out of my way to destroy the spirit of Christmas. Here is the normal Facebook profile picture that I display throughout the “gift grabbing season.”
And there you have it, that profile pic is the seed that was sown that led me to getting Scrooged at Thanksgiving because “you reap what you sow, you harvest whatever you plant.”
“Getting Scrooged” is what happens when some selfish moron goes out of his or her own way to destroy your happiness in celebrating any holiday. For me, sadly, it’s Christmas so I am a classic “Scrooger” since the character of Ebenezer Scrooge is the focus of Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol. Ebenezer learned the hard way but he was given a second chance to embrace the Christmas spirit and do good during the holiday season.
I want to do good and I want to stop being a selfish moron so I’m going to start by apologizing to anyone whose joy I have stolen over the years. I am sorry for my snarky comments, my generally cynical disposition, and my intentional self-inflicted depression during the Christmas holiday season. I choose to be thrilled that you are celebrating the birth of Jesus and whether or not you recognize that as the “reason for the season” will not affect my choice to, at the very least, keep my big mouth shut if I don’t have anything positive to say.
I hope that you are filled with joy this Christmas season and are able to fill others with that same joy. “Peace on earth, good will towards mankind.” I hope you have the time of your life as you thoughtfully and lovingly prepare for the big gift exchange, a commemoration of the greatest gift, Jesus the Christ child. I hope that you will experience the magic that was the Christmas of your youth and you are able to make somebody else’s holiday magical, most importantly the children. Lastly, I ESPECIALLY hope that you, at no point during the season, get Scrooged.
A friend of mine dubbed me “The voice of reason in a very unreasonable world” which I am flattered by because I am less than that. Having said that, if you enjoyed my writing I invite you to scroll to the very bottom of this page where there is a button labeled “Follow”. If you press that button you will receive a notification whenever this blog is updated with new posts. Thank you for reading.