Overcoming the Excess of Christmas

I'm the guy who cries - at everything. Movies, TV shows, Hallmark commercials - you name it. If there is even a hint of emotional poignancy in the message - I'm crying. I can't help it, and the truth is, over time I've just accepted it.

My kids get a big kick out of this, and very often I catch them watching me instead of the television show or the movie, or even each other if we happen to be at a choir or band concert. It's just the way I am.

I wear my emotions on my sleeve and I'm not afraid to show them even if there are tears involved. Oh sometimes I hold back until I'm by myself. But once I let loose, I'm not really concerned about who might be watching.

As we know - this is the season for all the types of stories one might expect would make someone like me become a blathering, blithering, emotional wreck.

The reality, however, is that the Christmas season more than anything just pisses me off.

Whew! There I said it. It's out in the open for all to hear (er, um read).

Now, folks who really know me are looking at their computer screens right now going, "Eh Jimmer - none of this is new buddy."

But here's what you don't know...

I love Christmas.

Really I do. I like the decorations, and the songs, the pageantry, and the parades, mistletoe and holly.

I love it all.

Most importantly, I love the fact that every year folks come together to remember the birth of someone so special to so many of us, someone who gave so much, someone who...

Well I'm not going to turn the blog into a pulpit today or any day for that matter.

In a recent entry, I noted the fabulous Christmas decorations my wife Annette dresses our house in each year. This surprised my wife who said she never realized that I liked the decorations so much - and this made me sad.

I've been Santa Claus, and Mr. Tree (now there's a job).

Heck, I proposed to Annette on a carriage ride five days before Christmas 19 years ago this Saturday.

I love the tradition that goes with this very special time of year.

But there is one thing I don't like - one thing that just ruins the fun.


Christmas decorations go up in most stores and display windows as soon as Halloween is over. Excess.

Christmas sales that start as early as November 1. Excess.

Black Friday - if you can wait for Thanksgiving to be over - Excess.

Spending minimums for Christmas gifts - usually in the office - Excess.

Worse than anything - forgetting the true meaning, the true spirit of Christmas in favor of the overspending (even in this tough economic climate), and commercialism just because - well you know - it's Christmas.

Excessive - and it pisses me off.

Still every year - just when I'm about to declare myself Scrooge and give up on Christmas something happens that brings it back for me:

-Whether it's an entire office coming together to help a family with no holiday fund, nothing for their five year old girl to open on Christmas morning,

-or one of those sappy commercials on the radio about the station giving Christmas to a family in need.

-Even the miracle $1.00 iPod that there was no way a parent could afford at the time.

-Or the story of the simple white envelope sent to me today by my friend Cat with a warning: "don't read on the (public service) desk."

It's good to know my friends know me so well.

(Thanks for the warning Cat - I'm still a little misty, and fortunately not on the desk.)

Thankful that my Christmas spirit lives on. Grateful to be able to share it with everyone.


Cat said...

Amen, Brother. Amen.

WineLover said...

Yep. I agree about the whole Christmas thing. I hate buying my Halloween candy with the Christmas stuff sitting there right beside it.

When I was pregnant I cried at all the McDonald's commercials. that's why I only watch football now (though I'm crying for the Browns right now...)

mike waugh (westsidefan) said...

Enjoying the blog, Jim. Go ahead and preach; proclaiming the birth of a Savior is a good thing, no matter how politically incorrect it may be.

Go Wings!