The Commerce Journal

Opinion

November 30, 2012

Finding time to enjoy the holidays

COMMERCE — The holidays can be stressful. There are the preparations, the decorations, the cooking, the cleaning. There is dinner with mom’s family, brunch with dad’s family, with your husband’s family, with your stepwife’s family. Relatives are spread across the country. It’s easy to feel spread thin.

Everything is a commercial today. After all, Santa Claus is red because Coca-Cola wanted to sell more beverages. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Buy, buy, buy. Get a turkey. Listen to Christmas music, put up Christmas decorations. There are expectations to meet, children and parents to please. And putting up a Christmas tree? Unless it’s fake, it can be a hassle.

Some people hate the holidays with a passion. It’s too much work, too much stress. And the January credit card bill is enormous.

Others decide to make a political stand. It’s Christmas, not the religiously-sanitized phrase “the holidays.” It’s time to put Christ back into Christmas, they say emphatically. Christmas is about the Jesus coming to Earth, not about new iPads. They still probably want presents, though.

All have good points.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are certainly about eating good food, spending too much money, visiting relatives (even ones we can’t stand) and spending way too much free time decorating. It’s about gaining weight and taking time off.

People recognize how the hustle and bustle of the holidays brings out the crazy in each of us. Movies are made encouraging us to slow down, metaphorically smell the roses and take joy in our family and friends. Perhaps they too have a point.

The holidays for me are a special time because of traditions. In 21st century America, we don’t have a lot of traditions. One of the side effects of America being a “melting pot” is we became disconnected from our heritage as our forefathers assimilated.

But my family has a tradition, and even though it’s similar to millions of other families across the globe, it has its own touches that make it unique.

Each year, we get our new Christmas tree the Friday after Thanksgiving. We bring it home, set it up, and put the lights on it. Our parents get me and my two brothers a new Christmas ornament each year. And this year, as I put it on the tree, I realized I’d done this before about a dozen times. The same decorations, the same moves. Like an annual dance I’ve come to memorize.

That is comforting, because each year brings its own triumphs and struggles. Each year I become a little older, and a  little more experienced. I’ve graduated from college now. I have a “real job” and grown-up stuff like car payments. I used to get up at 6 a.m. Christmas morning and beg my mom to go through our stockings. Now, it takes a concerted effort from my brothers to get me up before 11 a.m. Some of the magic of Christmas has dissipated.

But when I put that first ornament on the tree, carefully looking for just the right spot, inconspicuous yet meaningful, I can be a kid again, in his Dallas Cowboy pajamas, so excited he could barely sleep the night before.

And, to me, that’s what Christmas is really about.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • This is ‘Our Commerce’

    Commerce, Texas is a unique community in north east Texas and yet in some ways very typical.

    June 26, 2014

  • IMG_2998.JPG Lions reveal true character

    Character is revealed during times of success and times of tragedy. Texas A&M University-Commerce, and specifically the Athletics Department, showed its character last week when two student-athletes were tragically killed in a car accident.

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Father's_Day_1.jpg A short history of Father's Day

    There are more than 70 million fathers in the United States today. 

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Judging pianists

    “The Van Cliburn Competition is the most important piano competition in the world,” says John Giordano of Fort Worth, who was chairman of the Van Cliburn jury for 40 years.

    June 10, 2014

  • Junk.jpg Enough with the junk

    Let’s play a game.

    May 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lessons learned from decades of making speeches

    I’ve been making speeches to various groups since 1973 when I made my first chamber of commerce speech in Dumas, Texas.

    May 27, 2014

  • Yard full of turtles

    Barbara Ellison of Cameron loves her backyard. It is full of flowers and birds. Occasionally a squirrel will drop in for a meal. “I could stay out here from morning ‘til night,” says Barbara. “It’s so pretty and we enjoy taking care of it.”

    May 13, 2014

  • Mapping Texas’ rocks

    Jim Runge of Eldorado is always doing unusual things.

    April 28, 2014

  • Motel a real winner

    I traveled to Kingsville to do some filming and interviewing on King Ranch.

    April 17, 2014

  • Fighting more than just fires

    For the past few weeks I’ve been attending a Citizen’s Fire Academy hosted by the Greenville Fire Department. 

    April 4, 2014

Featured Ads

Poll

How many games do you think the Lions will win in 2014?

7-9 wins
4-6 wins
1-3 wins
     View Results
Must Read
Facebook
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide