You know that episode of Charlie Brown when he goes door to door selling Christmas wreaths when it’s not even past Thanksgiving yet? Well, it’s past Canadian Thanksgiving — not quite past Halloween though — and I’m “selling Christmas wreaths” so to speak and by that I mean it’s that time of year that puts the consumer in “Canadian Capitalist Consumerism”.
When you’re a kid (particularly a North American kid, constantly surrounded by Judeo-Christian values firmly embedded in everyday society) you look forward to Christmas. You look forward to presents and the Christmas tree and presents and Home Alone 1 & 2 and presents and maybe some egg nog. Then if you happen to grow up into a critical thinker, at around 20, you hate Christmas, you hate the hideously greedy, over-the-top consumerism that comes with the holiday and you resent people for losing sight of the simplicity that Christmas is supposed to be.
Then you get over it, still quite mindful of the greed and over-consumption of the holiday season, but less hostile towards those partaking in it — you even kind of blend in so long as no one asks you straight up, “Do you like Christmas?” This ain’t everybody — this is some folk that may have something in common with me. I have a very touch-and-go relationship with Christmas. I love spending time with my very extended family, love handing to them carefully thought-out, yes you guessed it, presents and cooking extravagant food…but there are starving children in this world, kids who don’t have homes, people who are dying, people who never had it easy — Christmas is just that other day with lots more distractions. And distracting ourselves, it’s cool, so long as we don’t lose sight of what’s happening outside of ourselves. Now I appropriately sound like a Christmas special.
And Charlie Brown — I knew everyone thought he was a blockhead ’cause he chose a shitty Christmas tree — but he was ahead beyond his years and the kids just couldn’t keep up.