Oh yes, Christmas is coming. Well, actually it’s already here. It started in July at the craft stores and showed up the day after Labor Day at our favorite big box retailers. And by Dec. 24, you’ll be so overwrought, overstimulated and overspent that you’ll look back longingly on the carefree days of the presidential election or that tendonitis you had back in ’11. But hey, it’s all for the kids, right?
OK, no, I don’t hate Christmas. I love Jesus and I’m OK with the idea of co-opting a pagan festival and making it into something nice. But it does seem each generation reaches a middling age when we think we’ve had too much, and we seem to remember the Christmas seasons of years past being simpler, more sacred. Maybe shorter. Most of us know the old carol about the 12 days of Christmas (lords a leapin’ and all that). Once, while on a binge of clicking through Wikipedia links, I learned that the 12 days of Christmas are symbolic of deep Christian theological teaching, not some kind of office gag gift thing gone wild. But I always liked the idea of doing Christmas in just 12 days, and hopefully, enjoying it a little more. Then again, around here, we can probably pack a great deal of angst into 12 days. Imagine this news on your Globe-News app:
On the first day of Christmas: An elderly Hall County rancher was resuscitated near a bench outside of Dillard’s where, it was later learned, he had been waiting on his wife since Christmas 2012. She was located in the shoe department, still struggling to make a single decision.
On the second day of Christmas: Two neighbors competing for the best holiday display in Wolflin attempted to illuminate every blade of grass at their homes near Oldham Circle, overloading the local distribution system and causing a square-mile blackout. The power company spokesman at first blamed wildlife, and then touted the efficiency and increasing affordability of LED bulbs.
On the third day of Christmas: A third of all available parking spaces at the Walmart on Georgia Street and the Canyon E-Way were occupied by shopping carts.
On the fourth day of Christmas: Center City’s Electric Light Parade devolved into complete disorder ‘long about Fourth and Polk as frozen parade watchers drifted in the warmth of the Amarillo Balloon Association’s continuously flaring tanks. The raucous and desperately hypothermic mob eventually hijacked the float and diverted it to Ellwood Park, where marshmallows were roasted and songs of the open road and perfidious lovers were sung with gusto.
On the fifth day of Christmas: A Ridgecrest Elementary choir teacher shortened the annual Christmas program by a half hour by removing the tiresome “five golden rings” from the singing of the “Twelve Days of Christmas.”
On the sixth day of Christmas: A young Amarillo couple broke a Christmas frivolity record by attending six parties (four Sunday School socials and two company receptions) – plus a Posada – in one evening.
On the seventh day of Christmas: Eveline Rivers fell into a deep sleep after seven days of non-stop gift wrapping and smiling.
On the eighth day of Christmas: The red light camera at Elmhurst and Coulter streets chalked up enough fines in one day to pay for the new ballpark and repave eight blocks of Hillside Road again, just for the heck of it.
On the ninth day of Christmas: Every child younger than age 9 in the Grand Street Walmart locked their mouths into one continuous, woeful scream.
On the 10th day of Christmas: A smoldering hairdo set off fire alarms down at Polk Street United Methodist Church, center section 10 rows back, during a candlelit singing of “Silent Night.” Pastor Burt Palmer initially thought his message had brought fire from heaven before noticing some kid dropping molten candle wax from the balcony.
On the 11th day of Christmas: Mass traffic confusion on Westgate Parkway near Target and Best Buy caused a momentary wobble in the Earth’s axis, so APD was called in to navigate. There will be no summer next year, but retail sales are up 11 percent.
On the 12th day of Christmas: Amarillo awoke to 12 inches of snow and Facebook broke, bringing peace and goodwill to all the Earth.
Merry Christmas and Happy Boxing Day, everyone.
by Wes Reeves
Wes lives in Amarillo and works in media relations. He is a native son of the Texas Panhandle and has survived almost 48 Christmas seasons.