The Christmas Season

Quote of the Day     Ralphie as Adult: [chuckling] Ho, ho, but no matter. Christmas was on its way. Lovely, glorious, beautiful Christmas, upon which the entire kid year revolved.   —A Christmas Story

TB is an unabashed fan of Christmastime, the whole period, from the preseason of “Third Week” and Thanksgiving, to the regular season of December 1-20, to the playoff period of December 21-24 and of course the Super Bowl of pagan-religious holidays, Christmas Day. I appreciate the religious significance of the season but I revel in the materialistic, secular side of it which I view as the natural extension of the pagan celebrations it was merged with centuries ago. I also love to thumb my nose at those who would impose their personal notions of Christianity on others–TB is opposed to authoritarians and dogmatists of all sorts.

The ancient customs of Christmastime are ingrained in us all. I believe its one of the main reasons a communistic/atheism imposing government can never sustain itself long term in western culture. The people would rebel because we are instinctively compelled to feast, congregate, and spend our excess earnings on gifts at this time of year, to say nothing of spending a few days away from the salt mines. The pleasure in receiving gifts is also ingrained though many of us try to deny it. Everything may be junk on December 26, but on the feast day, a singing fish or a bathroom trivia book or a pair of socks are treasure. Ok, maybe not the socks. My point is we should dispense with guilt over the baser aspects of our nature for a month. We have survived another year. It is cause to celebrate. So in the midst of all the solemnity, spirituality, and charity that is the “reason for the season”, let’s not overlook the need to pay homage to that part of our DNA that remembers the fear and hunger of mid-winter, the hope of longer days to come, and the joy of, as Ralphie said of Christmas morning, “plung(ing) into the cornucopia quivering with desire and the ecstasy of unbridled avarice.”

About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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10 Responses to The Christmas Season

  1. Madd Dawg says:

    You are going to keep pushing Third Week until someone follows along aren’t you?

    Ralphie’s dad is an absolutely classic movie character. My mom got my step-dad a miniature version of the leg lamp like the one in the movie this year, but the box did not have “fragile” on it, so it must not have been Italian.

  2. sweet says:

    Apparently the people are also compelled to trample to death Wal Mart employees. But some got their deals and gifts. Merry Freakin Christmas to the 34 yr old dead guy and his family.

  3. MD. Thank you. Now I can stop. It was getting tough to incorporate every day. Third week references are now officially on hiatus.


    Responses (Choose one):

    1. What’s your point?
    2. They were rushing the store because prices on satire meters were at an all time low.
    3. I’m going to post one day about how much I love beer. Let me go ahead and say right now that I do not endorse violent alcoholics, liver disease or drunk driving deaths.
    4. If you think TB’s ode to Christmas materialism is a sign of my morals declining even further than you were aware, I’ll hopefully allay those fears by telling you what got me in that frame of mind yesterday was shopping for toys for kids I will never know or see to donate through our church. Of the budget my family allocated, I found myself compelled to hunt for the best bargains on the best toys I could possibly find so as to maximize our contribution. My top purchases, by the way, were a couple of authentic Barbi’s hidden amongst a pile of knock-offs at Ross that I got for 60% off. I enjoyed the process enough that I didn’t mind and didn’t even feel the need to blog about standing in the checkout line for 15 minutes. Most of the post was composed in my head in that time.

  4. sweet says:

    God bless you Baen. At least nobody lost their life for your noble cause.

  5. Stone says:

    The angel tree type purchases are always sort of fun.

    It is because you know the gift will be appreciated. Buying for my kids is a little less rewarding. They have so much, it is less appreciated. All that said, I love Christmas. Yearly good cheer is healthy I think

  6. coachteajay says:

    Frank Costanza: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.
    Cosmo Kramer: What happened to the doll?
    Frank Costanza: It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born: a Festivus for the rest of us!
    Cosmo Kramer: Is there a tree?
    Frank Costanza: No, instead, there’s a pole. It requires no decoration. I find tinsel distracting.
    Frank Costanza: It’s made from aluminium. Very high strength-to-weight ratio.
    Mr. Kruger: I find your belief system fascinating
    Frank Costanza: And at the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around, and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year!
    Frank Costanza: I got a lot of problems with you people! And now, you’re gonna hear about it. You, Kruger. My son tells me your company STINKS!
    George Costanza: Oh, God.
    Jerry Seinfeld: And wasn’t there a Feats of Strength that always ended up with you crying?
    George Costanza: I can’t take it anymore! I’m going to work! Are you happy now?!
    Frank Costanza: I’ve brought one of the cassette tapes.
    Frank Costanza (on a tape recorder): Read that poem.
    George Costanza (on a tape recorder): I can’t read it, I need my glasses.
    Frank Costanza (on a tape recorder): You don’t need glasses! You’re just weak, weak!
    Estelle Costanza (on a tape recorder): Leave him alone!
    Frank Costanza (on a tape recorder): All right, George. It’s time for the Festivus Feats of Strength!
    George Costanza: No! No! Turn it off! No feats of strength! I hate Festivus!
    Frank Costanza: We had some good times.

    “Festivus is not over until the head of the household is wrestled to the floor and pinned”.

  7. Jessie Lou says:

    Thankfully, I never had alot of money to buy that much Christmas. I promise that giving your kids every single thing they want is a huge mistake. It makes you feel bad at the time when you don’t do it, but later when they appreciate things more than the next spoiled rotten kid you know, you realize it was the right thing to do.

  8. smilyj says:


  9. Jessie Lou says:

    Smilyj – looks like I beat your post by a nano-second.

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