Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas Bigfoot.

Merry Christmas.
I make a point of saying Merry Christmas instead of the generic Happy Holidays, or Seasons Greetings. It isn’t that I am insensitive to other corresponding holidays but rather I don’t celebrate them. More importantly, I have never known anyone to get upset by wishing them a Merry Christmas.
I think that the fear of making someone uncomfortable distracts us and ultimately diminishes the significance of the season. I mean, I don’t go out of my way ensuring that I don’t unintentionally insult Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, so why should I worry about offending someone by saying Merry Christmas? I think the chances of doing either is statistically the same. 
It isn't call a Christmas Concert anymore.
They are called 'Winter Sit through until you kid is finished.'

The meaning of Christmas has changed for me over the years as I’m sure it has changed for all of us. As a child, Christmas vacation was a mash of festive cartoons, school concerts, hockey tournaments, and wrapping paper. I vaguely remember something about a star, donkeys and wise men dressed in period costume, but principally Christmas was about family being together.
I was never really impressed with Santa Claus. He was always at the end of a line- a line that you had to wait in for what seemed like days and days wearing your snow-pants and holiday sweater. The wait was never worth it. It just made you feel tired and dirty. 
I don't think either of them wanted to be there.
More importantly, Santa flew one night a year- my Dad was often gone flying 6 months at a time. The jingling bells of Santa's sleigh could not compete with the sound of four Wright Turbo-compound engines of the CP -107 Argus. So what if Santa could deliver presents, the Argus could drop torpedos. The only thing that made me happy about Santa flying on Christmas eve was that I knew my father didn’t have to. 
Presents were great too. Don’t get me wrong, I love presents, but I can only remember a handful of them. The ones I do remember (the table hockey game, the race track, the army men, the parachute SAR game), I played with my Dad. 
Now I am the Dad, and like my father I am away from time to time. My kids don’t seem all that interested with Santa. My oldest is mostly curious about the great elve’s logistical considerations. She is concerned about the lack of snow and high winds and how it may affect his approach plans to the roof. My son is just happy that there is an endless supply of chips and dip.
Chutes Away- the best ever game ever made.

I sat down with them a couple of days ago and made sure they knew the reason why we celebrate Christmas. My daughter did a pretty good job. I thought though she gave too much detail when she started describing the modern Geopolitical implications. My son mumbled something about chips and dip.
I don’t think in the coming months my kids will remember what Santa brought them this year. I’m sure they will remember that Mom and Dad were home, and they spent the day with their Grandparents. When they get older, I’m sure they will understand that was the most precious gift any family could get. 
Merry Christmas.

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