Losing the Battle to Christmas


Folk tale depiction of Father Christmas riding...
One way or the other he will get there.

My son dashes to his room in the middle of a commercial to add one more thing he wishes Santa would give him on Christmas day. It’s a week before Christmas and his list is getting longer every time I chance to glance at it.  I feel little tense every time I take a peek at it. It has things like: Nintendo 3D, a sports bike and other high retail value items that have captured his 7 year old attention.

Apprehension clouds all conversation surrounding Christmas as he tries to imagine the process of elimination that Santa will use when getting him a gift. If Santa doesn’t deliver something, this Christmas will be ruined. It seems like the older he gets the more I want to burst that Santa bubble especially because the value of the things he asks for grows exponentially with each passing year.

A nostalgic look on long ago Christmases in another world light years from my son’s interpretation of  Christmas makes me wish for a another experience all together. I remember the festivity with which Christmas was heralded from all the travel plans involved in going to be with relatives. School was out, parents had vacation from work. Everyone seemed available to celebrate and there was the universal gift of being together, laughing, eating, drinking and just being.

I try to tell him that Christmas is not all about getting the latest thingy majigy that’s being advertised but the incredulous look  on his face tells me that I have not won him over.  Then I realize that the change is irreversible. This is confirmed when I turn on the television only to find pundits closely scrutinizing the President’s holiday speech. Ripping it apart, and finding fault between what’s not said versus what should be said. And I realize that the change is vast; like a virus it has infiltrated every aspect of how we see celebration so that even a message of good will suddenly takes on a sinister meaning.

I look at my son and I know I will lose this battle of wills. I know that even as I resist the trinket based celebration, I along with every other parent who doesn’t want to be remembered as lousy, will find a way to shell out funds to fulfill a Christmas wish.  All hope is not lost though because I know this time next year, I will be back on my crusade to de-commercialize Christmas.

 

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