I believe I have gotten in touch with my inner Grinch this Christmas season even more than usual. Not that I want to snow on your parade. If you want to nog your eggs or conspire by your fire, well, have at it. But there’s a whole lot about holiday traditions that are, frankly, a wee bit beyond my grasp.
Before going further, read that headline again: “Spolier alert.” If you have kiddies who read the opinion page, snatch this away from them. Then, for heaven’s sake, find something age appropriate for them to do.
Now then. What about the holidays turns otherwise honest parents into outrageous fibbers? They insist a fat man burgles your house to wedge candy and trinkets in your stockings. And that Jack Frost can nip your nose at will, even though it is illegal in all states to have forced familiarity with the face of another.
Performing Christmas music is at least as odd as celebrating the above criminal behavior. During most months, singing indoors is just fine. But in December, singers trudge door to door wassailing uncontrollably.
This is a thinly-veiled plot to enter their neighbors’ homes and drink their toddy. And all you have to do to compose a holiday song is write two syllables and repeat often. If you intend to try it, keep in mind that “Rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum” and “Fa la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la” and “thumpety thump thump, thumpety thump thump” are already taken.
Possibly the oddest traditions of all involve our treatment of flora and fauna. At a time of year when you might expect us to be particularly loving, we do the damnedest things to our plants and animals. We string berries together, deck halls with holly, kiss under mistletoe, drag trees indoors to cover with tinsel. Chipmunks do not want to form trios and sing. Fido does not want a bow on his tail. Deer prefer not to prance on roofs or fly all night long.
And don’t get me started on how turkeys feel about what people do with stale loaves of bread.
I suspect the true meaning of Christmas is not in the age of the fruit cakes, Mommy kissing Santa or anyone else, any number of geese a-laying, or Uncle Eldon’s cherry red nose which Aunt Luella tries to pass off as just another cold, year in and year out.
I hope you each discover its own special meaning for you and find peace in a world that could truly use it.
Linda B. Myers is a founding member of Olympic Peninsula Authors and author of the novel “Fun House Chronicles,” and the PI Bear Jacobs mystery series. Her newest novel,” The Slightly Altered History of Cascadia: A Fantasy for Grown Ups,” is now available at amazon.com. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook.com/lindabmyers.author.