By Burt Ross
I simply can’t believe Christmas is upon us so soon. I might be mistaken, but I could have sworn that Christmas was celebrated just a year ago.
The weeks leading up to the holiday always give me great agita. For one thing, there are an infinite number of questions that come up around the holiday, such as where do we celebrate Christmas and with whom? Do the kids come here, or do we go there (New York)? If we go there, do we still decorate here? And then, whom do we give what to? I am not sure that last sentence even resembles English.
Do we remember what we gave to whom last year, and if so, should we repeat that gift or not? Oh my heavens, I am getting a headache just thinking about all this. My mailbox is so filled with holiday catalogs I can hardly retrieve my bills in the stack of brochures. Forests are being destroyed just so my mailbox can be filled with this junk, and it’s all contributing to climate change.
The greeting cards are waring me down also. Some cards come with my name spelled incorrectly on a label. It doesn’t get more impersonal than that. Other greetings contain a two page, single-spaced letter telling me in great detail about babies I didn’t even know had been born. And then somebody had to tell me what he named his new dog as if I am going to remember that. I am aging, and it is tough enough to remember where I am, let alone the name of somebody’s new pet.
But there is always that silver lining. I know for certain that in just a matter of days, the incessant Christmas music which started in early November will suddenly cease. Don’t get me wrong, I do love listening to Nat King Cole sing “Silent Night,” but if I have to listen to “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” one more time, I might start wearing earplugs. My apologies to the late, great Gene Autry, whose estate might still be getting royalties every time the song about Rudolph assaults my tender ears.
But now is the time to put all this anxiety behind us. Our kids are coming to Malibu, the gifts have been picked, and the mailbox is about to return to its more normal empty container. So eat hearty, hug your loved ones, sing a Xmas carol or two absent any reference to reindeers, and a very Merry Christmas to you all!