Getting Into the Spirit of Christmas

Getting Into the Spirit of Christmas

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  1. Hardly anything gets us in the Christmas spirit more effectively than holiday decorations. Unfortunately, in a reckless desire to generate profit by falsely building upon this spirit, many businesses begin putting up their decorations earlier every year. Years past, you could count on seeing wreaths, boughs of holly, wads of mistletoe and images of Santa and his reindeer within seconds of the passage of Thanksgiving; now, many businesses put up such displays as early as the day following Halloween. Such gratuitous use of Christmas themes can desensitize us from the true Christmas spirit. After all, we aren’t as stupid as advertisers think we are. We all know that the purpose of such ornamentation is to open our wallets and get us to spend, spend, spend. As a result, many are inured to Christmas spirit long before the holiday comes and don’t bother with decorations of their own because they feel they are only adding to the commercialization of what should be a sacred holiday.

    Don’t let business people get you down on the holidays. No matter how much you disdain their practices, you’re still going to spend, spend, spend, so you might as well roll with the proverbial punches.


     For me, the Christmas season hasn’t really begun until we put up our decorations all over our home. We start with fake, chintzy branches of plastic holly, artificial tacky garlands of fir, holly and mistletoe made of plastic and a bogus fir and spruce plastic wreath for the outside surface of the front door, then follow up with cheap red and green reflective plastic streamers draped over doorways and the first of two gaudy nativity scenes. This is still not Christmassy enough for me, so days later we will erect our Christmas village and I will stream colorful cheap plastic LED lights around every window (we’d do the exterior too, including the roof; but as apartment dwellers, we don’t have that luxury). Still unsatisfied, we must buy at least a dozen small poinsettias and distribute them throughout the house and a real pine, fir and juniper wreath from Trader Joe’s for the front door’s interior surface.

    By now, I’m feeling something of the Christmas spirit, but it still isn’t enough.

    It’s time to buy the tree.

    Having rearranged every piece of furniture that we own to accommodate a fir tree too large for our apartment, I still can’t ensconce myself in Christmasitude until we’ve strung all the lights (too many for any one tree, as always), hung all the ornaments, adorned it with a few strands of tinsel and created and draped my twenty foot long strand of string threaded with dried red chili peppers (I used to use popcorn, but it always got stale before I could eat it, and tofu will simply not remain on the string). Once I plug in the tree and every light strand twinkles to life, then it’s officially Christmas for me, and will remain Christmas until the dreaded day that we haul the dead, brown, needleless firetrap out to the garbage for disposal.

    Spiked eggnog and grog are Christmas spirits, too; but imbibing in them if you’re full of Dickensian humbug will not make the holiday any brighter. So ignore the tackiness of business Christmas displays and put up your own tacky display.  If you’re a true Grinch, you may not find actual mirth, but you’re bound to feel at least a little better.

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