It’s officially December, and do you know that means for all the gentiles, materialists, and people who simply listen to the radio or watch television? That’s right, the Christmas season started over a month ago.
When I was younger, Christmas was probably my favorite time of year. I suppose, like every other kid my age, I was simply materialistic, and really liked getting all those presents (the dollar went a lot farther back then and there would always be a big stack of presents under the trees). It’s not really the same any more, to be honest. I’m still materialistic, I won’t lie, but there are also fewer items for me to covet. My Christmas list, or lack thereof, isn’t really the focus of this post, however.
Back in the day, Christmas had a clear feeling. I can’t really describe it, I can barely even remember the feeling itself, to be honest. But, I do recall the feeling being there. A type of awe, or jubilation perhaps, in the pit of my stomach, exemplified with everything else that comes with the Christmas season: lights, the tree, music (sing it with me, everyone: “Grandma got run over by a reindeer…”), the cold and the snow. Making snowmen, playing outside, shoveling snow and making tunnels out of the huge piles of snow that would accumulate on the side of the drive (we may have only done that one year, but it’s a fond memory) all helped. All of that led up to the day itself.
I remember waking up at ungodly hours of the morning on Christmas day (times where I would probably still be awake recently) and having to wait until the stroke of… I think it was 7… to wake up anybody else. It would still be dark and we would open our presents after eating a quick breakfast of cinnamon rolls. All of that in my pajamas.
All that changed, however, when I hit high school and started working at the family jewelry store during the holiday season. I’m not sure if it was work or the “maturity” I reached in high school that did it, or some other factor.
Now, that feeling is gone. Like I said, I’m up until 2 a.m. even on the 24, and sleep in until around 11-12 on Christmas, shower and then join my family, waiting for my brother to finally wake up.
Being a sucker for nostalgia, I tried desperately last year to rekindle that feeling I had as a kid. The best way I thought of doing this, was to watch the old video tape we have with all the Christmas specials on it (Garfield, Rudolph, probably the Grinch, etc.). I found the tape I thought it was (clearly labeled “X-mas cartoons)… it was the wrong tape. It still had a couple of the specials from the old Nicktoons that I loved as a child (I recall Doug and Rugrats… don’t think there was anything else). The thought had crossed my mind to borrow my friend’s DVDs of the specials I was looking for, but the vintage commercials on the tape had as much to do with the memories/feelings as the program itself. Needless to say, I don’t think I ever really got that feeling back.
All things change, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. I’m still undecided on which this is.
I no longer have the same feeling I had as a child, but Christmas has a new feeling, now. Again, it’s hard to describe (can you ever really describe a feeling exactly?). It now has to do with all that comes along with Christmas in this time. Working until dark, the cold and the snow (still in Ohio, still have the cold, and occassionally some snow), coming home and playing video games with just the light from the television and Christmas lights.
The world always changes, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. But it’s not so bad. A quote from Escape from L.A. comes to mind:
“The more things change, the more they stay the same.”