Thursday, December 20, 2007
Another Holiday Tradition: Lew's Annual Christmas Rant
I really hate this time of year. With the incessant hawking of every damned invention on the planet as "the perfect Christmas gift" to the non-stop blaring of awful Christmas music from every imaginable source, Christmas has because a time of major annoyance than a time of peace.
The most truly irritating is of course, the advertisers, of whom I'm sure would advertise their product as a sure cure for the war on terrorism, if they thought they could get away with it. Blissfully unaware of the growing stagflation, they hawk new cars and expensive jewelery as the way to "show your wife how much you really love her". Enough to pay thirty-nine percent for five years on a useless trinket destined to sit in a box for most of the rest of her life (oh, right, it's an investment, something she can pawn off in five years when she runs off to Florida with the pool boy, leaving with nothing but the debt and an awful taste in you mouth).
Then of course, there is the Christmas music. Every fresh crop of pop singers ensures us another string of new Christmas CDs, designed to cash in on the singer's popularity before all their recorded output ends up in the cut-out bin at a bargain book store. So they sing the same songs that 16,000 other singers have sung, just as sincerely and emotionally overwrought, where it will end up being about as memorable as Barry Manilow's version of Jingle Bells. Apparently no one can do anything original, like write a new Christmas song, but even if they did, most people wouldn't like it, as they fear the unknown, and tend to stick to familiar territory.
I had someone ask me what I wanted for Christmas this year, and I thought long and hard. I don't really want anything, but I do need a cheese grater, so I suggested that, and was given the dirtiest look I've managed to arouse from someone since my days as a dirty hippie at a punk rock show.
The one thing I do enjoy about the season, however, is being able to give my children presents. I don't get an opportunity the rest of the year, but the end of the year is when I get my annual attendance bonus, where the company I work for reimburses me for the sick days I did not take. It's supposed to come two weeks before Christmas, giving me ample opportunity to shop (which I loathe) and stash the loot away before Christmas. Well, once again this year, as it did last year, the company I work for screwed up and did not give me my bonus as they are contractually obligated to, so I had no money to get my kids gifts, except for the gift card my ex-mother-in-law sent me, which I was grateful to receive, but with prices the way they are these days, didn't go too far.
So today, I was a little down, a little depressed, and angry that management, who fucked up their responsibility, didn't step up to the plate (one of the corporate cliches they are fond of using)and deliver my bonus to me in a timely manner. I felt like Clark Griswold from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
Then, a miracle happened. Cindy, a good customer of mine paid me a visit. She had told me that she had prayed the night before that she may be able to deliver a gift to someone who really needed it this year, and was directed by whomever to me and my two boys. My eyes began to tear up and my throat was choked close as I thanked her very much. Suddenly, the whole meaning of Christmas was shown to me, it's the joy of giving out of love, not from obligation, that is the real meaning of Christmas.