by Elizabeth T. Andrews
American Reporter Correspondent
December 21, 2007
LET'S KEEP CHRISTMAS
CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- 'Tis the season for tolerating and being tolerated. For bell ringers and carol singers. Santa sleighs and days rattling with wrapping paper; tree lights that won't work; and "It won't be the same without Mama."
Christmas. A noisy American holiday that provides a way for adults to act like children and children to grab with both small hands the flashing brief magic of wonderland.
Christmas. The carefully camouflaged denial that we don't like some of our relatives and the sure and certain knowledge that some of them don't like us.
Christmas. Whose house and who brings what to the table? Why should we have to bring the turkey/ham/'possum this year? Everybody knows it's Aunt Sandy and Uncle Bob's turn. They never bring anything except that watery jello salad nobody eats. And try getting a dime out of 'em for Mom and Dad's gift. All Uncle Bob ever says is "I'll catch you next time."
Break out the tree. Bring in the firewood. Santa Claus and the relatives are coming to town.
Hang the stockings and be sure to hang an extra one for Johnny's friend, Paul ... and I don't care if we are devout Baptists. He's our son. And while you are in the attic bring down that box over by the chimney marked "Gifts for next year." Stuff we got and didn't want and I've indexed who it was from so we won't give somebody what they gave us last year.
Christmas. A decadent, pagan ritual to a few and a "It's gotten too commercial; it ought to be canceled" to a few more.
Christmas. A chance to be a child again that brings out the poet in every writer worthy of their eggnog.
Cancel Christmas? I don't think so. Cancel candles? Mistletoe? Cancel presents? Good grief! No! And don't you dare say "Cancel snow."
You don't like Christmas? Well, that's too bad. I'm so sorry you're so sad. Wish you wouldn't stay at home. Wish you wouldn't stay alone.
Yes, I know it's His birthday ... and you think we've strayed away from the meaning, from the cause. Injected Santa and Mrs. Claus, put a silly shining tree where a manager ought to be. But I suspect ('though I don't know) that God enjoys a good joke, applauds a good show.
It seems to me any day is all right for hanging stars and an angel bright; and have you ever watched the winsome face of a child when the angel is finally placed, high so high, atop the tree? Absolute joy. Total glee.
I doubt any God who sent a Son to light a world (still dark to some), I doubt that God would ever cry, "Stop all that foolishness! What have you done!"
I see I haven't changed your mind ... and that's all right. I trust you'll find some solace in your determination to force your view on an entire nation.
AR Correspondent Elizabeth T. Andrews is based in Cartersville, Ga. Her Website features her columns and poetry. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at P.O. Box 816, Cartersville, GA 30120.