As many of you know from past posts, I’m a very big Calvin and Hobbs fan and still hold out hope that Bill Watterson will one day ressurect the comic strip, though I know in my heart that will never happen.
Anyway, since there’s been so much bad news filling our lives these days, I decided that between now and Christmas, I’d post some of my favorite Calvin and Hobbs Christmas strips. I hope you can stand the smiles they bring.
There are people who leave their Christmas lights up well after the holiday is over and into the summer months. Then they figure, what the heck, Christmas is only three or four months away so I might as well leave them up. That mindset leads into the following year, and the next, and the next, etc., until the lights become part of their landscape. Except they never turn them on. So they just hang there like a kid at a school dance waiting for someone to ask them to a party that was never planned.
Those people make me crazy. So if you happen to be one of those people, well…I’d Iike to say I’m sorry but I’m not so why pretend, right?
And then there’s this guy. I passed this house earlier today and it took all the self control I had not to get our of my car, ring his doorbell and ask him one question.
The holiday season was over four months ago and you haven’t had a moment to put Santa to bed for the season? Your reindeer look as if they’ve tried to escape from the obvious abuse and are now either wasted or begging for someone to give them a new home. It was 80 degrees yesterday. Look at them. They’re not used to this type of weather. As for the big guy, well, I wouldn’t exactly be writing up a Christmas list next year if I were you. You can’t abuse the man’s image and status and then ask him for a new scooter, you know what I mean?
Do you have any idea how many kids you’re scarring? How many parents have to speed by your lawn art so their kids don’t get a glimpse and ask the obvious question? I just don’t think you’ve given the bigger picture much consideration and for that you’re looking at coal next year, buddy.
I know you’re home because the flag is out and there were three cars parked in the driveway. Three. Which means it won’t take you and your posse that long to drag these oversized ornaments into the backyard and away from my irritated mind.
So you have a week, whomever you are, to get your act together. If it’s not gone by then, I’ll have to take matters into my own hands, though I prefer not going to the dark side. That’s so not in the four-month ago holiday spirit.
I’ve been trying to remember exactly when this change took place. When did “they” seize this three-week holiday season that I’ve always loved and turn it into a three-month commercial for every product or gimmick that has ever been sold, trashed or imagined? When did it happen and where was I when it did?
Like many people, Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. I have pleasant memories of family, homemade cookies, large dinners and dressing up as Santa. I couldn’t wait for it to arrive and always hoped it would last a little longer. People seemed to be kinder and more understanding and I was always a bit sad to see the tree and decorations come down. It meant getting back to normal, whatever normal was to me at the time.
However, it seems the old cliché about being careful what you wish for would seem to apply here, since I got that and then some. I never planned on seeing Christmas decorations as I walked through retail stores in shorts and a t-shirt just after labor day. Nor did I want television commercials to begin their holiday jingles while I’m still mowing the lawn or have Santa arrive at the mall for pictures before Halloween decorations have been taken down. People now hang lights on their homes before they sit down to turkey dinner, then decide to leave them up throughout the summer and fall so they’re good to go in October without the fuss. They don’t light them, of course, they just allow those wires that look like icicles to hang down from gutters and windows like some lazy form of new age exterior decorating. “They” know it annoys me and I’m convinced “those” people put “them” up to it.
I don’t understand why “they” decided to tinker with this time of year and why we let them. I realize it’s all about money and profit but why have we allowed them to draw us in and play with out time, wallets and hearts? We now bring people in to work on Thanksgiving? Really? What’s next, Rudolph in July? Mrs. C doing August public appearances for Wal-Mart? Cant we just decide not to visit those stores on that one day? Would it put that much of a crimp into our holiday shopping?
This is why Thanksgiving has now become my favorite holiday. It’s simple. You have family and food and if you’re into football, you hit the jackpot. No rushing around, no gifts, no three-month buildup, Short, sweet and memorable with lots of leftovers to keep it working for a few more days.
A few years ago my company asked me to dress up as Santa and take pictures for our company Christmas card. We used someone’s home on a lake in July. A photographer was taking pictures in front of a wood burning fireplace and the outfit became very warm. I needed some fresh air so I walked outside and onto the beach dressed as Santa. A security guy happened to be passing by in a golf cart and picked me up. We rode along the beach and I waved to people in bathing suits and stopped to take pictures with children and families. It was an unexpected, spontaneous moment and it only lasted a brief time. A few years later I was told that people in the community still remember and speak about that incident. It was simple, short and memorable.
I wonder if “they’re” listening. I wonder if you might be, as well.