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Hello Gentle Readers,

My title line is a little inside joke to anyone who’s playing Pain on the PS3 (review forthcoming). Anyhow, it’s the goofy title for the more complicated idea of Christmas expectations. When talking about Christmas with a friend, she said her father said “Christmas is all about disappointment” which sounds like the sort of pessimism that could ruin Christmas for an 8-year-old, but that smacks of sad, soul-crushing truth to an adult. After all, who hasn’t had a Christmas full of unwanted presents or bad nog? And it’s no one’s fault, the expectations for this holiday are ridiculous. No one worries that someone has ruined Halloween because they got a toothbrush in lieu of candy, yet Christmas exists in a fragile state where the lack of Christmas tree lights can be on par with strangling a reindeer.

The fact of the matter is, that Christmas is fueled by kids. Every time a parent says ‘no, you can’t have that toy’ or ‘maybe for Christmas’, the child turns their internal holiday hype meter one notch closer to eleven. The 25th of December becomes a holy day of consumerism where kids can horde new toys as if there was an imminent toy drought on the horizon (I’m looking at you Chinese toy makers). And, for households where all the kids have gone off to college, there must not seem to be much point in psyching themselves up for decorations, parties and baking when there’s no kid around to spaz out over the weather conditions Santa is facing later this month. I don’t mean to bum out any Christmas purists, but as I’ve grown older my impressions of this holiday have changed. Dancing sugarplums have been replaced by the simple joy of time away from work. And buying presents has become an exercise in social networking and money management.

Before I end this blog with people thinking my title should have been ‘bah-humbug’ I want to clarify that this is still one of the best times of the year. Giving presents and being kind to your fellow man shouldn’t just be reserved for late December. However, if you begin to feel the strain of the holidays, don’t forget that we all have a choice in how much ‘Holiday cheer’ we choose to imbue and that living up the unspoken expectations of our peers is a step down the path to Christmas disappointment.

Happy Chrismahannikwanzka


3 Responses

  1. This post was so good, I had to read it to my wife.

  2. Aw shucks. That’s the best compliment you can give a writer. Well, that and “will you sign my boobs.”

  3. Is this your clever way of getting Sarah ready for a lump of coal and a tangerine come Xmas day?

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