Ah, how Christmas has changed…

I honestly can’t believe it’s December already(I know this post is really late–sorry!), though the weather around here has been very winter-ish. I know, I know, winter isn’t until December 21st, but it just seems like winter. Have you noticed that the blog is snowing? Little snowflakes are falling down the page! Extremely cute, I think– thanks for the feature, WordPress! Anyway, since the month of Christmas is upon us, I thought I’d write my first Christmas post of the season. I’ve been reflecting on artificial trees, battery-operated candles, and other ways Christmas has been modernized and changed, for better or for worse. Here I detail my thoughts for you, reader, to see.

Let’s start with the traditional Christmas tree: most of the people I know use artificial–fake–trees. My family always uses a good old-fashioned real one. Concerns with real trees seem to include a fire hazard, cleaning up after the needles, the environmental issue, and the worry of the tree falling down. Despite these problems, a real evergreen just makes Christmas Christmas for me.  Maybe the lovely scent has something to do with it? Or perhaps it’s the quirky irregularity of the branches that makes it such fun to find just the right nook or cranny to fit a particular ornament? Some try to replicate the pine scent by burning a candle nearby their plastic tree. More often than not, the candle will be fake, too.

Christmas is the season of giving. Wouldn’t want to be a Scrooge! But giving within our own homes and families has changed so much, and gone overboard, in my opinion. We feel obligated to get a little knick-knack for our third cousin twice removed (or was it our second cousin thrice removed?). What is the likelihood that this distant relative will actually appreciate this object? If you’ve only met this person once or twice, can it actually be a genuine token of love?

Also, kids expect so much on Christmas. The younger ones who still believe in Santa Claus will often make out a long and extravagant list because they believe that Santa and his elves can make and deliver toys and gadgets beyond their wildest dreams. I’m not saying to ruin the magic of Christmas for the youngsters, but perhaps you could teach them some restraint. My mother always advised me to limit my North-pole bound list to three or four items. Now that I’m older, the spending limit on gifts is about $100. But I see children asking for gifts that cost well beyond that! Do you think that 6-year-olds really need the latest cell phone that can do about a sixty things other than make calls? This is supposed to be a recession. During the Great Depression, which my grandmother grew up in, children would receive nuts and fruits in their stockings. Oranges were a special treat. You wouldn’t see that today. The kiddies would throw tantrums. If you ask me, that deserves coal, and I don’t mean the candy kind.

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