I’m not sure I want to envision a Christmas of the future, but maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised as I look down from my cloud. Clarence Odbody will be right beside me giving me advice on how to get my wings.
Clarence, as you all know, was the angel in “It’s a Wonderful Life”, struggling to acquire his wings by showing George Bailey that every life has a meaning. As corny as the movie can be at times, the theme is eternal.
We all make a difference, good or bad, and that choice is our own. The first and second Christmas articles were fun to write. This one is a toughie. Who knows what the future holds for Christmas, or us? I can tell you what I would like to see happen, from my cushy cloud.
Stop Extending the Christmas Season
The Christmas season should not begin in October. The commercialization of Christmas is criminal, and I wish it would stop. I don’t mind the month of December being dedicated to frenzied shoppers searching for the perfect gift, but I got a Christmas catalog in August. If this keeps up, a lot of the magic of Christmas will be drained by the time Thanksgiving rolls around. The uniqueness of Christmas is because it is a short season. Like it or not, less is more. The only thing about Christmas that needs to be extended is the Christmas truce.
Many people I knew traveled to faraway places for the holidays. Unless they’re visiting family, I think people should try staying home. I know not all families like each other, but that is no reason to stop trying. Take the time you waste traveling and dedicate it to renewing family values. Call your aunt in the nursing home, visit the brother in the next town that you haven’t seen in two years, take a walk as a family. I’m not saying beat a dead horse. If your attempt to reconnect doesn’t work, at least you will know you’ve tried, and so will your kids. Try again next year.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m as guilty as the next guy of buying expensive frivolous gifts for the kids that they just have to have. When the sister had my niece, the golden child, the baby doll, I bought her sterling silver diaper pins, sterling silver rattles, blah blah blah. Talk about a silver spoon in her mouth, she had the entire place setting. It took the kids to make me realize that it wasn’t the gift, it was the giving. How ironic that one of my fondest memories is the Christmas gift from my very young niece and nephew on a Christmas Day years and years ago. They gave me a hand made card and in crayon wrote “We made your bed fro you.” Sure enough, they had made my bed. Sniff. I was so touched, I took them to Disney. You get the idea, though.
Spread the Wealth
No, I haven’t changed my political views, so stop gasping, Whippy. I do think that it important to voluntarily give to those less fortunate, if you so choose. It can be done in many different ways, and is fairly painless. Once again, I’m a check writer because of my innate laziness, so I can’t really chastise others for not volunteering. But I will say I find it strange that people exiting a department store with bucket loads of Christmas presents sail on by the Salvation Army lady, saying “I’ll catch you later”, or “I’ve spent enough already”. Yup. You’re broke. I get it. But couldn’t you call the old lady down the street and ask her if she wanted to take a ride? Couldn’t you go through your closets and give your stuff to the thrift shop instead of throwing it away? Ask your kids to pick one of the gazillion toys you bought them and let them bring it in to Toys for Tots, just to see what it feels like.
Well, there’s my wish list for Christmas. Clarence nodded off a while ago. Maybe he’s resting up, in preparation for another little mission to earth.
To read more from this slightly tarnished angel click here