Merry Holidays? Bah Humbug!

November 15, 2011 at 7:00 am 2 comments

I was in a crotchety mood. It was a slate grey Sunday. Muffin and I were sitting in the car eating lunch from our favourite chip truck, The Spudster, in downtown Little Britain. As we munched, we studied the action in the Foodland parking lot. There were many short visits as people went into the store and returned with supplies. At noon on Sunday, it was interesting that most of the supplies seemed to be in beer cases. One haggard looking fellow came out and carefully loaded his cases into his van and left.

With the van gone I looked across the lot and saw a sign that had been blocked. It was a smiling turkey wearing a Santa hat. The sign read, ‘Earn a FREE Turkey!’ I mused on the idea of ‘earning’ a ‘free’ turkey. Wouldn’t I be better off to just buy the damned turkey and not have to worry about jumping through fiery hoops to ‘earn’ one? If I had no money and hoped to earn one, would it involve some kind of physical labour or was the ‘earning’ tied to spending money?

While I cursed the marketing people for creating such a stupid come on, I squinted to read the smaller print at the bottom. I put my glasses on and read, ‘Just in time for the Holidays!’ That’s when I lost it. The Holidays? This was too much. I violently chomped the remainder of my double back bacon with curds, lettuce and ketchup on a bun and felt my temperature rise. I could see some generic mousy marketing type wearing horn rimmed glasses sitting in a drab cubicle while sipping a forty dollar Starbuck’s coffee and spearing crispy leafs of Romaine dressed in a tangy vinaigrette while chortling about sucking us rubes in with the words ‘Free’ and ‘Holidays.’

Let me rewrite this sign to reflect the true flavour of rural Ontario. Here it is: Score a Free Turkey Just in time for Christmas. Score is more in line with playing the game (of spending money) and Christmas is what the ‘Holidays’ truly are. Christmas is ‘Peace on Earth – Goodwill toward Man’ (read as human). While that may be a Christian based sentiment, it is universal among all faith traditions. Celebrating the birth of Jesus is celebrating the coming of the Spirit of peace and goodwill among humanity. That Christmas spirit has filled the hearts of generations upon generations of people and bathed society with a spirit of tolerance and hospitality that should be copied throughout the year. All people everywhere can understand this sentiment. It’s a good thing.

Let’s not get caught up in the baloney of promoting commercialism to ‘earn’ FREE things. Instead, let’s practice the tolerance and hospitality that comes so naturally at Christmas and try to extend it throughout the year. While we may in fact get some days off work, the Christmas season is about love for each other and not about holidays. Forget holidays.

Go out and buy a turkey. Invite someone to dinner who is poor in health, wealth or friends; someone who is of a different faith; someone who is alienated; someone you haven’t seen in years and feed them a nice dinner. You may not have earned your turkey but you will have earned immeasurable goodwill. Remember: What goes around comes around.

Peace

© David Jones/ Thunderbridge Productions 2011

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lisa Llamrei  |  November 15, 2011 at 10:29 am

    As a non-Christian, I have to take exception to your definition of the holidays. Peace on Earth and Goodwill Towards Humankind are universal among all religions, but Christmas is not. Christmas = Christ Mass, which only applies to those who are actually celebrating the birth of Jesus. Jesus is the reason for Christmas, but the pagan festival of Yule is the reason the newly converted Christians of Europe chose to celebrate the birth of Christ at this time of year, even though historically he was probably not born in December. I celebrate Yule, which has a different reason for being.

    However, I don’t get bent out of shape if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas. It’s meant as a good thought, so I take it in that spirt. Then I smile and wish them a Happy Hannukah.

  • 2. Dale Long  |  November 16, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    I start spitting nalis when some book taught, pompus “do-gooder” suggests that we cannot us any of our appropriate greetings and should instead homgenize the spirit of the season (whatever spirit you subscribe to) into one phrase, Happy Holidays. Holiday for who, exactly? Certainly not retail, or at least the lowly part of retail that staff the stores, because heaven forbid we actually have to go a day or two without buying something.
    Happy Holidays indeed, bah humbug and happy shopping.

    This is fun! Thanks Dave! What else can we argue about? 😉

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