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PUBLISHER’S NOTE: 12.24.13
The best gifts are never wrapped
JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Gather round, gentle readers, for it’s time for my warm and fuzzy holiday words of wisdom. If you know me, you’re saying “good luck with that” as I’m a bigger Scrooge than Ebenezer, and we have the same taste in clothes.
What is the deal with presents? If I want something I save up and go buy it. That means that pretty much anything you give me is something I don’t want. What’s the point in that? Not only am I a miserable present recipient, I’m also terrible at giving presents. I’m too rebellious to focus my giving on the officially proscribed days, so I give the new set of skis in November, and the scented candle on the big holiday. Yes, I’m a fool.
I think I might actually make a good Jehovah’s Witness, because I’m generally not into holidays. However, after reading their pamphlets I can see they have other beliefs that I would find challenging. Actually, I’m proud to be Jewish, but it’s obvious why Jews are so few in number. Our biggest holiday, Yom Kippur, requires 24 hours of repentance and fasting, while the biggest Christian holiday has round-the-clock parties, food, sweets, presents, cool trees and colored lights.
I’m tempted to include music in that list of coolness, but Christmas music is a mixed bag with some brilliant classical pieces, some cool jazzy tunes and a few nice hymns. But then there is “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” and its unending torture.
Ubiquitous schmaltzy music is one of my two main grievances with the “Happy Holiday” season, with the other being The Year in Retrospect programming on TV and radio. Insipid rehashing of the past is a bore. Onward into the future if you please.
I’ve also had problems with New Year’s Eve, but now that I’m getting older each year completed seems like a big accomplishment, so I’m getting better at tolerating New Year’s Eve and all its ridiculousness.
I’m simply just not good at holidays. Perhaps, in my defense, it’s because my operating principle is to try and make every day holy and not save up all my generosity and spirituality for the sanctioned calendar days. My holiday wish for you is that my bitterness is not infectious, and that you have a warm and happy time with the ones you love over the holidays, and throughout the year.