I got the Christmas lights up last weekend, as noted earlier. Most of them anyway. Every year I put a single strand of blue lights across the front of the house, because I like blue lights – they’re peaceful, and we all know we need more of that these days. Kim reminded me tonight that we also have blue net lights for the front bushes, and I suppose I should find them and put them up as well.
Because this year we’re going to need more holiday spirit than usual, I think.
It’s been a challenging year, which is a polite way of saying what perhaps ought to be said a lot less politely, but professionalism and all that. We started off with an entire continent on fire, followed it up with the US Senate actively covering up for the most corrupt president in American history, and then the plague hit. There were lockdowns and quarantines, street protests and Fascist goons in federal uniforms disappearing people from the streets of America. The west coast burned down, the skies turned orange, morons aggressively refused to take the plague seriously and threatened the intelligent people who did, and nobody with more than six working brain cells is going anywhere for the holidays this year because large gatherings are just preludes to large burials. There were murder hornets.
MURDER HORNETS, for crying out loud.
On top of all that, we’re still dealing with a slow-motion right-wing coup attempt that will likely fail only because the people behind it are too damned stupid to subvert a free election effectively, which is a worrisome thing for the future of the American republic when you think about it, and there’s still four weeks left in the year. For all I know there could be an invasion of extraterrestrials on the solstice, though if they ask me to take them to my leader I will advise them to wait a few more weeks until we actually have one.
In this kind of environment, you could go one of two ways.
The easy way would be to ignore the holiday completely. It’s been a long year. Nobody’s in the mood. It would be simpler to curl up with a good book, a movie, a sitcom, a bag of chips, a bottle of wine, a mug of tea, a tin of cookies, or whatever else you need to get you through the night, and just hunker down and wait it out.
Or you could spit in the eye of it all and try to find some joy in the season.
It’s been a long year. I’m thinking I’m going to go with option two.
This is not going to be easy for me. For one thing, I’m from Philadelphia where pessimism is considered a civic virtue. For another, I don’t remember the last time I managed to get into the holiday spirit before December 20th, so gearing up early is going to be a trick.
But sometimes, as Garrison Keillor once said, you have to stand up to reality and deny it.
So this year I’m going to put up the lights and decorate the tree and sing the carols and songs even if all my favorites are the sad and broken ones, and I’m going to bake the things and cook the other things and celebrate with the four of us in my immediate family, and if the only way we can connect with friends and extended family this year is though n-dimensional Zoom screens that look like The Brady Bunch on steroids then so be it.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
Tomorrow we’re going to get the tree and perhaps later this weekend we’ll decorate it.
And won’t that be a time.