Thursday, December 20, 2012

What I am really ready for is for people to stop asking me if I am ready for Christmas

I have noticed this trend over the past few years that people around Christmas will attempt to start a conversation or just acknowledge you by asking, "are you ready for Christmas?"  This will include patients, co-workers and people you have only just met, like the man who asked me in the hot tub at the Y tonight.

Just for the record I am ready for Christmas.  I don't have many responsibilities, just try to read my wife's mind and buy her presents of the approximate dollar value to what she buys for me. (I know you read this dear and I love you very much).   It took 3 after work epic shopping sessions but I may have succeeded.  In some ways I am excused by virtue of having to work until December 23.

I also love Christmas.  What's not to love about a week off, knowing the days are going to get longer, getting  and giving presents, being together with your family, being able to shamelessly overeat and drink.  I listen to the all Christmas music radio station and enjoy both the cheesy and ultra traditional songs.  I actually like eggnog.

What I can't understand is why people will ask other people they don't actually know that well or at all if they are ready for Christmas?  I know they are only trying to be friendly but is it any of their business.  For all they  know I may not celebrate Christmas, or may be horribly unready for it (and thanks for reminding me and adding to my stress).   But is Christmas something you have to be ready for or should it be something that just happens. I know those presents don't just buy themselves,the tree doesn't decorate itself and the baking doesn't just happen but have we taken what should be most wonderful time of year (this was playing on the radio as I typed this) and turned it into an event for which one has to be ready.

So.....wishing my a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or Winter Solstice is fine.  Just don't ask me if I am ready.  I am but just don't ask.

As an aside I went to a local production of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" last week.  This is the third time I have seen it since moving here and I have seen it a couple of times elsewhere as well as various movie versions plus I read the book.  So I sort of know the plot.  I was wondering to my wife if maybe they were going to update the plot this year.  Like maybe Scrooge was going to remember his fiduciary duties to his shareholders,  tell Cratchit to pull himself up by his bootstraps while outsourcing his job after which of course he could award himself a huge year end bonus.

A Christmas Carol is more than a play about Christmas.   As I result of the 3 visitations, Scrooge starts to pay Cratchit a living wage, enabling him to purchase medical care for Tiny Tim and starts to donate to charities which in the 19th century were the social safety net.  Sadly most 19th century capitalists didn't do this and things got worse rather than better during the rest of the 19th century for the Cratchits and Tiny Tims.  There were a lot of gains in the 20th century but so many of these have been rolled back.

With that thought, have a Merry Christmas.