Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What this time of year means to me..

As each year comes and goes, it seems that people feel that the holiday season, as it's affectionately called, cannot come soon enough for them. Retailers kick off their incentive sales in the summer. We actually call the Friday after Thanksgiving Black Friday. I even recall a few weeks ago when Lisa and I were having dinner and overhearing two suburban moms actually discussing their shopping strategy for that specific day.

Once that day arrives, I sit back and watch the lemmings hop in their cars (some of them before 5am... I'm not awake then, but I take it on faith because of the damn sales) and act like a pack of rabid wolves at the malls. It's one of those days that you know you should stay home, unless you need to go to the supermarket for provisions. Even then, you should consider going out wearing nothing less than full body chain mail armor. That's what this time of year means to a lot of people.

For others, it means they have to shore up their defences because they feel their (national) religion, and its associated holiday, is being persecuted and is on the brink of extinction. Nothing like a nice steaming crock pot of shit to go with your dinner. This, from the same folks who think that Harry Potter is effectively the Christian Satanic Verses.

For me, it's all about one thing: A Charlie Brown Christmas.

I have never stopped watching that TV special since I was a wee lad. Vince Guaraldi's jazz soundtrack is nothing short of genius, with "Linus and Lucy" making its everlasting impression on our cultural psyche. How can you not want to make an attempt at dancing like the Peanuts kids who are waiting for the Charlie Brown's direction of the play to start? And yet, there is a most poignant moment that gives me chills to this very day when Linus explains the meaning of Christmas, bathed in a spotlight. I'm a freakin' agnostic who grew up in a Jewish household and that damn Linus speech still gets to me every damn time.

Maybe it's not Linus' story at all, but the bigger truth of trying to remove oneself from the frenzy that the season creates. The reverb on Linus' voice doesn't hurt either.

It's on this Sunday night at 7pm EST on ABC, folks. Try to pencil in some Snoopy time.


At 12:58 AM, Blogger Marked Hoosier said...

Very good choice! I watched that all the time as a kid, and haven't seen it for years now.

Shopping has taken too much of the season away... my brother and his wife are doing alright, but won't be exchanging gifts this year because of money. She feels awful about it, but wouldn't listen to me when I said this time of year is about family and getting together, not about gifts. She actually disagreed!

And how can one not like Harry Potter? ;)

At 10:47 AM, Blogger Bryan said...

Brilliant observation as usual Mr. Holmes. People think It's weird when I say this but I actually come from a family that manages to stay out of each others way at this time of year. With everybody scattered about the U.S. it's easier for us to see each other when other families are not taking to the roads like a pack of stampeding Buffalo. Hence I spent Thanksgiving in the Uk and will be doing that again for Christmas.

At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Steve H. said...

When the genie gives me three wishes, one of them will be to be able to play the piano like Vince Guaraldi.

Happy Solstice!


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