Christmas is a time of opposites. For me it is both the happiest time of the year and the most sad, but I think it is also very confusing for the rest of the country as well.
Black Friday- this is the first shopping day after Thanksgiving. Thursday is Thanksgiving when we share good times with family and friends. Friday is the next day when stores open up at 4 am to angry, out for blood, crowds of serious bargan hunters. I made the mistake of going to Circuit City this year on Black Friday and I was seriously worried about the safety of my son and myself for that brief 20 minutes of chaos. Why is the first official Christmas shopping day more like war than Peace on Earth?
Holiday lights- Hanging holiday lights outside of a house is crazy. Last year I almost fell off the roof. This year I am really into the minimalist approach. A string of lights around the front steps at my house and a blow up Santa and reindeer in the yard. I hope this will be enough. It makes me angry to think that others may believe that I have less holiday spirit because I don't have lights all over the place. I have spirit! Yes, I do! I have spirit, how about you!
Salvation Army bell ringers- Where are they all year long? Every time I pass one going into a store, and coming out of the very same store, I give them money. My kids are trained so that when they see anyone standing outside of a store they beg me fror money to give to them. Half of the time I have to say things like, "No baby. That is the Guy collecting grocery carts." It is a good thing to give to the less fortunate, but where are the bell ringers the rest of the year? Wouldn't they make more money to help others if they were collecting year around?
Giving- I enjoy giving people things that they really want. I think this is the best part of the season, but commericials have warped what I think I need to give to my wife to make her happy. If you watch those commercials, it would seem that I am a very bad husband because I do not give my wife diamonds for Christmas that are big enough to choke your dog, or a new Lexus with a great big red ribbon on it. I am not a rich man. What does an unwealthy husband give his wife for Christmas? A dustbuster (I did this once- not a very popular decision)?
Christmas cards- Every year I try to take a picture of the family and send it out as a Christmas card. I send the digital photo in (online) to Walmart and the next day I have 40 cards ready to go. I also like to make my own stamps at stamps.com. This year we are using our dog Kona as the official Doss Christmas stamp of '07. The part I hate is sending them out. But this year I am going to do my best to get them all out before this weekend.