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Discovering the magic of Christmas underneath all the tackiness

By   /   December 9, 2011  /   Comments Off


‘Tis the season for the overindulgence in all things tacky.

Please don’t take offense, I mean no disrespect to the sacred side of Christmas only the profane. After all this “most wonderful time of the year” makes some people purchase a first-class ticket on the Crazy Train.

Since the day after Halloween, stores have gone gaga for all things gaudy, draping every inch of space – from the rafters to the counters – with sparkling, shimmering, shining, singing, twinkling decorations that would’ve been too over-the-top for Barnum & Bailey.

I’ve seen more subtle displays after a Crayola factory explosion.

This very merry madness – from sequenced lights and maniacally grinning Santa Clauses to the endless barrage of today’s top pop sirens singing covers of carols that sound so self-indulgently sweet they make my teeth ache – is apt to cause a Christmas overdose and makes me wish I were Jewish. They appreciate the meaning of a low-key celebration.

To make matters worse, everybody has that neighbor who feels compelled to trim their house with so many strands of lights that it’s bright enough to not only be seen from space but it’s random blinking could give a seizure to the Man in the Moon.

Or there’s the neighbor who created a Where the Wild Things Are-type battle ground with warring inflatable Snowmen, reindeer, snow-globe Santas, penguins and creepy manger scenes that would’ve made the wise men think they’d followed the wrong star and ended up at Six Flags.

The best part is when all the air’s been let out and they just lay there in a plastic puddle, looking like Frosty after a heat wave.

I’m not trying to pick on Christmas, just the people who celebrate like it’s the last days of disco.

Not that the Buckners are immune to this disease of bad taste – after all I have a KISS stocking and a dogwood tree decorated with glittery ornaments – but I like to think we’re far from terminal.

‘Course nothing says Christmas for us like a battery operated mouse with sunglasses and a Santa hat that sings “Ice, Ice Baby” while jingling its jingle bells.

Jellybean was bound to learn to shake her booty eventually. The fact that she’s been inspired to do it by the greatest rapper of all time (this side of Young MC) is all the stocking stuffer I’ll need for years.

I rant because I once tried to force the Christmas spirit down like a dry turkey leg and all I ever got was annoyed and frustrated. Like those Super Bowls the Denver Broncos lost, Christmas never lived up to the hype.

But now that I’ve got a family of my own – a toddler who’s gets all giddy at the sight of her Elf on a Shelf and teenager whose Christmas wishes only Lil’ Wayne could afford – the so-called magic that once made my stomach lurch, has become palatable.

I’m looking forward to the excitement of Christmas morning, to singing hymns (though I just mouth the words ‘cause my voice would make Simon Cowell cry), of spending time with family and friends and sitting back digesting with all the grow-ups while the kids run amuck.

I try to not have any expectations. I just want to savor the moments. To me, that’s what Christmas is about. It has nothing to do garland and lights, inflatable animals or expensive gifts (even the Grinch knew that), Christmas is about creating a lifetime of memories with the ones we love.

Everything else is just fancy decoration.

Contact Brett Buckner at brettbuckner@ymail.com




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