I played at my first Christmas party of the year yesterday. It's just not Christmas without a Christmas party gig. This one's always a little different. A friend of mine, whom I've played with many a time, has a guitar playing brother who works for a local company. There's a couple of drummers from the same company so once a year a band is formed........loose....fun.....unpredictable. I never know what song is gonna be called out. I can't remember the last time I played Ozzy's "Paranoid"......oh ....that's right.....NEVER. Till yesterday. It's a kick playing with guys who don't play out all the time. Lots of enthusiasm. And because it's their company, lots of enthusiasm back. This is our fourth?....fifth?....year with this group so the cast of characters has become familiar. We know who's gonna grab the mike and start singing as things get.....cheerful, who'll be wearing the Santa hat, who will be on the floor....who will be on the table. Fun group.
This time of year cuts both ways for me. I have wonderful childhood memories of the Christmas season. I also lost both my parents on New Years Eve. So it's one of those smile...and reflect...at the same time kind of things. The commercialism that has become Christmas is repulsive on so many levels. And all the radio talk about using the term Christmas, not using the term, to set up or not to set up displays ........c'mon. The celebration of the solstice (to my mind, the beginning of summer....if you really stretch it) goes back to some pagan ritual, anyway. Look, I don't know what Jesus "was." But he seemed like a guy with an innocent message. Love your neighbor, turn the other cheek, do unto others, etc. Not bad. And not so easy. Eight years at St. Mary's Grammar School knocked most of the Catholic out of me. (I could never buy into the hell thing) But is is called CHRISTmas, so why not give him his due?
People have too much time on their hands. Who has time to make and circulate petitions, march with signs, call talk radio shows and be on hold for an hour? I'm just trying to pay my rent, get through life and finish (start) my Christmas shopping. I did go to a couple of demonstrations in college but to be honest, it was to meet girls. And in college, you're supposed to have time on your hands.
If you haven't seen A Christmas Story, (and why not?), it'll be running for twenty four hours starting Christmas Eve. WATCH IT !!!!!! It's got it all....Red Ryder BB guns, tongues stuck to flagpoles, Christmas dinners gone bad.....a story from a more innocent time. Of course, there's always A Very Brady Christmas. Am I the only one who had the hots for Florence Henderson? She was no June Cleavage...er....Cleaver.....but still. There's A Christmas Carol (Alistair Sim version), The Grinch, The Chipmunks, A Wonderful Life, The Breaking Bonaduce Christmas Special. That last one doesn't actually exist....but it should.
Take a few minutes, if you think of it, to stroll around ouside that day. Before company comes, or before you take off to Grandma's. There's a feeling in the air. You can smell it....sense it....wrap it around you like your favorite old coat. It's...... peace. Enjoy it.