When I was in first grade, I had a cameo in our class production of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” I was a bright shiny yellow aluminum Christmas tree. I just learned something. Writing aluminum is just as hard as saying it.
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” is still one of my favorite holiday shows. In the last several days we have all read or watched news stories about Black Friday and now Black Thanksgiving. People trampling pushing, shoving, tazing and fighting over stuff. Civility is thrown out the window when it comes to stuff. The holidays are not about stuff, whether it’s Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas or any other holiday that comes around this time of year. The holidays are not about 52-inch flat screens, 75 percent off jewelry and the latest gaming system. They are about much more than that.
I was talking to a friend the other day who said their favorite Christmas song is “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.” What kind of Christmas song is that? That’s almost as bad as “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth.” I mean, sure I could use two new front teeth but I am not going to sing about them and certainly not wish for them for Christmas. On lawns you don’t see kings and a manger but you do see Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny and friends dressed up for the holidays. Whatever happened to peace on earth and good will toward men (and women)? I guess they disappeared when 50 percent off from 5-7 a.m. came into being.
I guess in reality, the holidays aren’t like they used to be. Before XBOX, PS3, iPod and iPad, I was excited to get the Evel Knievel motorcycle with the zip cord to make it go flying down the hallway. Alas, even Evel Knievel couldn’t jump the Craft Canyon. The top of the bunk bed across to my brother’s bed. Nope, he sure couldn’t. He went straight to the floor. I think he broke his leg but more importantly, his motorcycle. I hid it under my bed so my dad wouldn’t see that I broke it three days after Christmas. Ah, it was just a toy anyway, another piece of stuff.
Most of the stuff we get at Christmas wears out sooner or later. Books go on a shelf only to become dust holders. Toys work their way to the bottom of the toy box. The Merry Christmas tie gets put in the closet never to be worn after Christmas Day. The electronic kitchen gadget from late night television doesn’t work like they say it will so, it goes to the back of a cupboard only to be pulled out sometime in the summer to be put in the yard sale. The fruitcake, well, don’t tell grandma but it goes in the garbage only after we did everything we could to make it useful. It would have been a good door stop but we kept tripping over it. We tried it as paper weight but it left grease stains. The dog tried it as a pillow but got green and red jelly looking things stuck in his fur. The stuff disappears but what stays is…
The smile on the faces of the family and the soldier who are talking and seeing each other via the web on Christmas morning.
A community coming together to celebrate Christmas two months early for child with cancer.
Receiving your Hot La Grande Café Latte Mocha Almond Cream Dream Conte’ free because someone in the car in front of you paid it forward. So you do the same and they do the same …
The hug you received from Great Grandpa Muggs and him in boxers.
The Holiday program where the kids forgot the words or missed a note but how handsome or beautiful they looked.
The look on their face when they get up to see cookie crumbs and a half a glass of milk.
Waking up to a fresh pot of coffee, fresh cinnamon rolls and family.
Waking up home again.
“And that’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.” Happy Holidays
Denny Craft is a freelance writer/humorist and has just completed the book, Cats Lay Eggs.