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Archive for December, 2010

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas (since I have my two front teeth) is for holidays to actually mean something again.

You see, we here in America don’t seem to give a crap about what a holiday is actually for anymore.  Back in the olden days of my childhood, a holiday not only meant you didn’t have to go to school, but businesses were closed and you spent time with your family and friends at home.  No running out to the local grocer for some forgotten ingredient, no trip to the movies, no dinner out.  Period.  Emergency services were available because, well, shit happens and there have to be people who can help.  But everybody else was supposed to be enjoying a rare day off without obligations.  Where did we go wrong?

Somewhere, some capitalist decided he could make good money by being open on a holiday.  I’m still not sure how that works, because not only is he having to pay the expenses of keeping the business open and paying employees overtime for working on a holiday (at least, the schmuck SHOULD be paying his employees overtime), business volume probably isn’t as good as a normal day.  So it seems to me that he’s really losing money in the long term.  Not to mention my good will.

My husband has been on a tear about this lately, ranting at great length about the problems with businesses being open on holidays.  It all started when his work (which has been closed on Christmas day the entire 16 years he’s worked there) put up a volunteer roster to service several customers on Christmas day this year, supposedly by those customers’ special requests.  The roster, thankfully, met with a resounding vacuum and was quietly taken down several days later.  Management claimed that it was a joke someone had been playing, not official, but no one was buying that lame-ass excuse.  Tired though I am of my beloved’s repeated harping whenever he sees ads for another business open on Christmas, I have to say he’s dead on right.  The all-mighty dollar rules, and who gives a crap about the people this all affects.  Sorry, folks, but I just can’t be convinced that businesses open on holidays are really making any money.  And if you can’t get yourself organized enough to make sure you have everything you need before the holiday, then you deserve being out of sugar, batteries or whatever come the day.

We seemed to survive just fine when I was a kid.  Being stuck on Air Force bases in the Mid-West for a good part of my childhood, we also dealt with various “Blue” laws – things that weren’t supposed to be sold on Sunday, like alcohol, tobacco and blue jeans.  You could get food and usually gasoline, but not much else.  It was just part of life and we planned accordingly.  And we survived just fine.  We had Sunday and holiday dinners at home.  We went outside and played with our friends, riding our bikes with no helmets, tossing lawn darts and being blocks away from home for hours on end.  We knew it was time to come home when the dog showed up (Mom would tell him to go find us and he would – always have a hunting dog if you have kids).  Somewhere, the world turned into a reverse Karma planet, where people don’t matter, the green-back rules, and back-stabbing your way to the top is the accepted course of action.

I’m not likin’ it so much.

By allowing that change to happen, we have diminished ourselves.  We are no longer important.  The real reasons for holidays are forgotten.  Capitalism is the Truth, the Light and the Way, and anyone who doesn’t fall into that line of thinking is anathema.

Well, it’s time for a revolution.  I’ll see your anathema and raise you heretical disillusionment and blasphemous denunciation.  JUST SAY NO.  No to businesses that are open on holidays.  No to people who espouse the Greenback Regime’s rhetoric.  No to kids who what to go to Disneyland instead of Grandma’s house.  No, no, no.  Just no.

In today’s stressful times, when jobless rates are at record highs, employees don’t have the luxury of saying no when told they must work on a holiday.  But something we as patrons can do is make it clear to businesses that we do not support them being open on holidays.  And I don’t mean don’t visit them just on that holiday, but don’t visit them AT ALL.  Stay away from the money-grubbing corporate monsters and stick with your locally owned stores.  They often close on holidays because they want the time off themselves.  What we forget in this me-centric world is that the store we’re running to on Christmas day, just for a “quick errand,” has to be staffed to be open.  That means those people working that day aren’t able to spend it with their families.  And, as my husband so eloquently put it, that means we think we’re more important than them, because they are servicing us on a day we have off.  And we think there’s no more caste system in the U.S. – HAH!

A national holiday should be just that: the nation’s closed.  No grocery stores, no movie theaters, no Disneyland.  We stay home and remind ourselves of what we have and who is really important to us and be grateful we can do it.

So that’s my wish, Santa.  Yeah, maybe Peace on Earth would be easier, but I’m a dreamer.  Besides, if we can get our holidays back, maybe Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men wouldn’t be so hard to do after all.

Happy Holidays, and Blessed Be.

 

© 2010  Cheri K. Endsley.  All Rights reserved.

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