Is there something about Christmas that you loathe, something you really can’t stand, something you would rather do without? Not the obvious things that are unanimously disliked, but tolerated, because “tis the season”, like: the commercialism, the music that plays 24/7 on every station and starts around Labor Day, the pushing and shoving at the crowded shopping malls and, of course, the ubiquitous bell-ringers at every store front (Geez, those people must by hand-picked, highly-trained psycho’s who can send you on a guilt trip without saying a word). What is the one thing you really hate about Christmas but are afraid to mention it for fear of being branded a Scrooge?
Mine is stringing Christmas lights. (Geez, I’m thankful that my wife doesn’t insist on stringing lights along the roof line.) I know, you can’t have a Christmas tree without twinkling lights, but would somebody please develop some kink-free, knot-free Christmas lights. How about a little space-age technology applied to the Christmas chores, huh? (Geez, I bet NASA brainiacs figured out kink-free wiring long ago. No kinks allowed in the Space Shuttle wiring! No sireee.) When you open a new box of Christmas lights they are so tightly packed and orderly that they even unfold neatly when you string them up for the first time, as if Santa gave them strict instructions to be pliant, cooperative and helpful. But, let’s face it, a new box of Christmas lights is the high-water mark for this annoying Christmas job.
Every year, while untangling the rat’s nest of multiple strings of Christmas lights and cursing this most-hated Christmas job, I tell myself I’m going to avoid this stress next year by repacking the light strings in a neat and orderly fashion. But, when it comes time to take the tree down, I’m so anxious to get the Christmas items stowed away, that I just throw the lights into a box to get them out of my sight. At that point, I’ve forgotten the frustration I had of stringing the lights and figure, “how hard can it be?” Happy to be done with them, I then pray that stringing Christmas lights will be outlawed within the next 11 months.
But this year, I dealt with it differently. I saved myself a lot of trouble, stress and anxiety; I took one look at that ball of knotted wire, noted how it just sat there, taunting me, laughing inside, knowing how it writhed, twisted and curled itself into more knots inside the box for the last several months, like it had a smirk on its face, just waiting for my first cuss word. Nope, not this year; I’m not going to stoop to its level, take the bait, and have a Clark-Griswald-type tantrum. I just said, “to hell with it”.
Thought for the Day: I stopped believing in Santa Claus when my mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph. Shirley Temple