Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas..Or SOmething Like It

I have to admit, I have lots of thoughts about Christmas. I don't know if it is because marketing has been going on since Halloween, because I am Jewish and straddling a couple holidays, or maybe I am just desperate for adult conversation! Whatever the reason, my mind is wandering this season. (How about that for rhyming!)
I'd like to start by saying, I don't get stressed this time of year. I would encourage others to do the same. Once upon a time, I thought Chsristmas had to be similiar to a Hallmark commercial. I was never so naive that I thought it would be EXACTLY the same, but isn't Norman Rockwell suppose to be what our goal is? Last year I blogged about my sister's car accident a few days before Christmas, and I hate to get all preachy, but seriously, narrowly escaping a worse scenario puts it in perspective. I get crap for not cooking the big meals, I get eye-rolls for some of my gift suggestions, and I can't get a single person to vote for pizza. But I have some of the most fun this time of year. The lights, the decorations, the songs, wrapping, lame movies, good movies, the mall...bring it on. Because the truth is, like everything else we do in life, the holidays, any holiday, is what you make of it.
Which leads me to my next topic... Santa.
A few weeks ago I had a conversation with another mom about Santa. She wanted to do that with her kids, but the let down when she found he wasn't real was so acute, she didn't want her children to go through the same thing. I remember the magic of Santa, I remember finding out he wasn't what I thought, and remember there were a few years there where I struggled with what the point was. No Santa? Then why bother with the decorations, tree, and all else...I could just toss a gift to everyone and call it good. Thank God the teen years are not forever. Seriously, thank-you God!! Other than the ability to eat what I wanted, I can't say I would re-live any of it.
What I learned is that Santa the Man may not be around anymore, but his spirit continues and after a decade or so of seeing how it works, it was now my turn to be Santa. And the great thing is, anyone who wants to, can be like Santa. Everytime we buy a gift for a needy child, I feel like Santa. Everytime I find a gift someone isn't expecting, I feel like Santa. Surprising people with stocking stuffers...yep, I feel like Santa.
Bill Murray had it right in the movie "Scrooged"-this is the time of year when we do a little more, care a little more, and take time out to enjoy things a little more.
My advice to people, as if anyone really needs it, is to relax, enjoy it, and believe in Santa. I do.

Monday, December 07, 2009

'Twas The Day After Football

'Twas the day after football, and I was all pumped.
My team was the winner, not one little slump.
I headed for the party, lots of great cheer,
to talk with my cronies and have a good beer.

The restuaraunt was crowded, winners and losers quite loud,
discussing the game, all the highs and the lows.
When what to our wondering eye should appear,
but the ultimte fan still dressed in his gear.

He was covered in team colors from his head to his foot,
he even wore a wig, the color right down to his roots.
He laughed and jeered, poked some in the chest,
all while claiming his team was the best.

He called people names, he made fun of the other team,
said he was The Man, and then he would preen.
Despite all his spirit, he drained all the fun,
and no one felt jolly, not even those who had won.

Then a voice tried to whisper,
but kids under 10, can't sooooo..
I heard a voice ask their mom, "what's up with that mister?
He is acting worse than my kid sister.
He called those people an awful name,
because of some silly game?"

The Fan, oh he heard, and his face looked mean,
he stalked on over, he opened his mouth, and he looked
ready to scream.
He went red in the face, I am not sure he could see, and
the whole room went silent, waiting to flee.

The mom, she quivered, but she got ready for battle
when a friend The Fan came with, said with mettle,
"Hey, dude, you are being an asshole."
(I don't need to rhyme here.)
"The kid is right, you are being a shrew. We hate to be seen with you,
people think we are in the same crew. You scream and you yell, you take all the joy,
quite frankly you act like a little boy. Winning, losing-it don't mean a thing,
you get all upset and make a big scene. We try to come when you aren't here,
but you show up anyway since we are your peers.

The Fan stood still, then turned about,
looking around as if the friend was in doubt.
But every face that looked his way,
was in agreement he needed to change-
there was no need to be nasty after the game.

"I am not a bad person," The Fan said with a tear,
"I love sports, and I love the cheers. I help out at my church,
I work with the poor, I don't do drugs, or go over-board.
His friend, he hugged him and nodded his head, "We know dude, you are usually nice,
except when your team is playing anything, even mice."

The Fan was changed, he came again,
but the next time he wore a grin.
No more kicking and screaming and shoving about,
he turned into someone we all liked having around.

The kid taught us something that some of us forgot,
that winning is fun and we like a lot,
but at the end of the game, the world still hurts,
poverty, homelessness, and illness still lurch.
And while it is fun, to be free for a few hours,
let's not party till everyone is sour.

I am glad the Ducks won the Civil War, but it was a good game all around, and we will be routing for every Pac-10 team this bowl season, Ducks and Beavers like. Happy Football Watching to all, and to all a good game.