We are -for better or for worse- in the midst of the Christmas season.
Although the origins of Christmas share the origin of Christianity, a major world religion, I won't get into a discussion of world religions here due to the complexities and the overt possibility I may get something wrong, offending someone.
For all intents and purposes, it's a giant birthday party that has been ongoing for over 2000 years. Of course, it's a tradition to give gifts at a birthday party, so we give gifts to each other and have our own parties.
Ah, Christmas. Does it bring to mind an image of families reuniting and gathering around a beautifully lit tree, listening to carols, exchanging gifts and basking in togetherness with the smell of turkey in the oven, with kids laughing and pets playing with the wrapping? Or instead, insane hordes of shoppers scrambling through stores, squabbling over a certain toy, and yelling at the tired store associates because it's not in stock?
I suppose the latter ultimately leads to the former but the money mongering retail empires see Christmas as nothing more than a huge source of profit for them. Indeed, the end result can be a child's happiness, but do these corporations have to slam it down our throats with slogans such as "THERE ARE x SHOPPING DAYS TO CHRISTMAS!"
People are blitzed by an onslaught of advertising campaigns and pressured to spend wads of cash and blow their credit card limit while somewhere executives and board directors in suits are counting cash and dreaming up new ways to lure customers in and make more money.
Some big retail stores in Canada even have their doors open for 24 hours for the Christmas season. I find this ridiculous and unnecessary. Who will be out shopping at 2am in the morning? Go to bed, b'y. The store will be open during normal business hours - in the day. I wish both the hard-working day staff and night crew of a particular store (you know who you are) season's greetings.
And a merry Christmas to the rest of my dear readers. I'll be in Newfoundland for Christmas week. It's been over two years since I've been on home soil and smelled the salty sea air, so this will be a special one indeed. For my fellow Newfoundlanders - particularly some close friends of mine here in Lloydminster - who must stay here for the holiday season, I wish you a warm and wonderful Christmas.
Thanks for reading and I hope to continue this series in 2008!
Setting course for Newfoundland. Warp speed, engage.