Friday, December 10, 2010
The Christmas Express
About this time of year things progress fairly rapidly I find. Initially, in the first few days of December, we gradually adjust to the advent of winter weather, an enforced adjustment which becomes more persistent with each passing day. However it is not long before we’re convinced that winter really has arrived and that it is safe to begin counting the days to either the Winter Solstice or Spring, whichever helps.
What abruptly occurs as we approach the middle of the month, however, is the sudden realization that Christmas is upon us and all that that entails. People in the street begin wishing one another a Merry Christmas and many are prompted to shake hands with one another. It is a time of communal outpouring of charity and good wishes. The process is helped along by the trickle of Christmas cards which also materialize with increasing regularity. People commence muttering about the times during which their business offices are closed over the holidays. Some are captured in the post office assembling large packages in brown paper. There really is a hustle and bustle in the air.
Of course if one watches television for any time at all it is impossible to escape the latest advertisements for possible Christmas gifts. Everything imaginable is on offer, whether it’s perfume, cars or pizza.
Eventually the hysteria of the season simple overtakes all else. Anything that interferes with a preoccupation with Christmas is relegated to inferior status. In a way it is a pleasant reprieve from the usual worries of the day to which after all we must succumb for most of the year. It’s not all that bad having to spend one’s time contemplating enjoyable undertakings. For some the direction of activity moves distinctly towards embellishing the many layers of the season, including such festive things as baking, tree decoration, illumination of every possible description, attendance at house parties and carol concerts, traveling to be with family and friends, on and on it goes. Small wonder so many of us are completely exhausted by the holidays when once they are over.
In the meantime it is a question of hanging onto your hat for it is a flighty ride for more than Santa and his reindeer. There are so many distractions at this time of year, whether it’s the increased traffic to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, the sudden appearance of sinfully rich goodies at the local baker’s establishment, the boughs in the store windows, the colourful lights on the street, the talk of winter vacations, the sight of brightly packaged gifts, even the snowfall takes on a kindred appeal.