Holly crap! I just realized it’s already December 15th. That means we’re on the, oh, what, fifth day of Christmas? We’re already up to f-i-ive go-o-a-ll-dan ri-i-ings. And I haven’t even let robo-tree out of the closet. My neighbors have gone all-out decorating, though. Their porch looks like a carnival. Mine? Bah.
It seems like The Humbugs are really going around this year. It seems as though festive is out. Most people I know, myself included, are regarding this holiday season with little more than a sense of good-natured disinterest. Some others do seem to be making a token effort of jollity. This lack of enthusiasm is little surprising, after the mania of Black Friday, but perhaps both that and the sense of indifference share a root cause. The economy?
Maybe it’s just that the sales made affordable those things that people wanted for themselves. I’m certainly not spending fortunes on lavish gifts. You might get a tee shirt, if you’re lucky. And, people are apparently spending less on themselves than they used to. I read that cinema attendance is at its lowest level since September, 2001.
Maybe it’s the economy. Maybe it’s just winter. Even I have been bothered by the short days, for once, but mainly because of the nuisance the premature darkness causes on the road. Lots of people suffer from Seasonal Anxiety Disorder, which is triggered or exacerbated by the long nights. Is it hitting everyone especially hard this year? Or am I, too, unwittingly affected? I wonder.
Well, perhaps in enforcing cheer amid the long nights, the inventors of the modern Christmas tradition knew exactly what they were doing. Keeping us from dwelling on it. “‘Tis the season to be jolly,” our songs insist. “Love and joy come to you, and to you glad Christmas, too! Think of raindrops on roses and cute little kittens, and maybe you won’t feel so bad! And a hap-pee ne-e-ew ye-e-ar!”
Of course, if song doesn’t cure the Humbugs, there’s always egg nog, mulled wine, and peppermint Schnapps.