Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More Christmas Thoughts

Is it just me, or is this annual ‘season of giving’ one of the most frantic, annoying, irritating times of year? I mean, in a time when we are supposed to celebrate rebirth and renewal and giving and peace and joy and all that, do you not find that people behave shittier and more selfishly than at any other time of year? Don’t get me wrong -- all I have to do is buy some presents and fly back east every year to visit family, so I guess in a way I have it easy. I don’t have houseguests, I don’t have to prepare a big ol’ Christmas dinner or any of that.

What I’m talking about is the atmosphere out in the world in the weeks prior to Christmas. Is it just me or do drivers get more surly, do people seem more rushed, more irritated with each other, more crazed than usual? What is this insane pressure we put on ourselves every year?

And why do we call it a time of giving, a time of generosity when all we’re thinking about is how quickly we can score those deals and get the fuck out of the store? When all we’re doing is imagining the slow, painful death of the painfully slow cashier at Barnes and Noble as we wait in line behind twenty other irritated shoppers. (This is just me imagining the thoughts of others, I swear. I haven’t done a bit of shopping yet this year. :)

I’m just trying to remember how lucky I’ve got it, what a privilege it is to be alive in this time, and what incredible gifts I’ve been given, in terms of my friends, family, and my life. I’m not a religious person, but even if there isn’t a god I have been ‘blessed’ by something. I’m trying to remember compassion and hope and connecting with my fellow human beings, because the truth is, we are, all of us, blind and ignorant and doing the best we can with an impossible burden -- and I’m not talking about our shopping lists. All the rest is bullshit, and it don’t mean a thing.

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