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Bah, Humbug…

December 24, 2010

If I had my way, I would go to sleep on October 29th and wake up January 3rd.

Halloween used to be about kids having a good time going door to door and getting treats, now not so many kids but a lot of adults showing up in ridiculous outfits.  Thanksgiving used to be about the family getting together, eating too much and just enjoying each others company, having the Friday off after and getting a four day weekend.  Now the family doesn’t seem to get along as well and I don’t get the friday after off anymore.  Christmas, well that is a whole other story!!

Not that long ago Christmas officially started the day after Thanksgiving, now stores are putting out displays before Halloween.  The economy seems to be based on how successful Black Friday is or isn’t.  If you really stop and listen to Christmas music you get so depressed you want to blow your brains out.  I tell people, “I hate Christmas”, and they look at me like I am the one that is nuts.  Actually I make Scrooge look like Santa Claus!!

Speaking of Scrooge, if you read the Christmas Carol you find that he gives Bob Cratchit Christmas day off due to social pressure.

“He has a particular distaste for the merriment of Christmas; his single act of kindness is to give his clerk, Bob Cratchit, the day off with pay. Done more as a result of social mores than kindness, Scrooge sees the practice akin to having his pocket picked on an annual basis.”
Now what is interesting about this attitude is that it mirrors today’s mentality.  It wasn’t that long ago companies either shut down over Christmas or at minimum were closed Christmas eve and day.  While some still do this, it is becoming rarer.  Or if a company does shut down the employees are forced to take it as vacation or go without pay.  As I write this I am at work on Christmas eve, hoping to get off by 4 p.m., hoping no customers show up after 2 p.m.
Now if all of this were not bad enough, while the worker bees keep the hive alive, the CEO’s are off to Hawaii, Cayman Islands, or the slopes of Tahoe.  The Christmas bonus and the Christmas party have become things of the past but the haves keep enjoying the fruits of the have nots labor without a second thought.
When did we lose our perspective as to what is important?  How did we allow the “holidays” to become shopping days?  Why is it more of us have exchanged “Merry Christmas” for “Bah, Humbug”?
Maybe in retrospect things haven’t really changed all that much.  Charles Darwin said, “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin”.  For all of our thinking that we have evolved for the better, Christmas reminds us in reality we have not.
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