It's Christmas Eve again. Here, it has been nice and quiet. Not even more traffic on the road. Wouldn't go to town today. Did not want to dive into mayhem. Wednesday the grocery store parking lot was full. I drove on by. The times when traffic and shopping are at the max, I'm at home, quiet, not even the radio on. All they play is Christmas music. I know, it's properly sentimental to listen to Christmas music this time of year, but I hear so much on NPR and every store I go into, I don't need to listen of my own volition. I wouldn't care if I never heard any. For the same reasons I gagged when I saw a new county commissioner put a paragraph of republican patriotic gush up for merry Christmas on facebook. He got it all in there, patriotic and Christmas sentiment as one. A little over the edge, so knee-jerk patriotic as to render itself meaningless instantly, but infinitely defensible. Politics and religion, the holies of the holies, smokescreens in the hands of scoundrels.
I like the festive spirit of the time, people getting together to party, relatives getting together at somebody's house, presents, the light-hearted fun in that holiday season from Christmas to New Years. It works out that about half the people have happy times and happy memories at Christmas (relatively), and about half find Christmas time depressing, each for their own reasons. I remember the first person I knew who admitted she was depressed at Christmas. Her mother and dad didn't observe Christmas except to get drunk and fight, and she was left out of all the holiday sentiment growing up. Murders and suicides that happen at Christmas time wreck Christmas for the extended family for generations. Carter Stanley sang the story of the Lawson Family, when daddy killed wife and kids and self at Christmas. It's among the more mournful songs in the Stanley Brothers song list. Carter could do it just right.
Christmas seems to me more an ambiguous time in duality than just jingle bells, all the tv commercial cliches and dripping sentiment. As it's a human experience, Christmas would certainly take on the character of the various attitudes about it. By this time it has become so corporate-commercial it is reduced to advertising jingles, which it's been throughout my lifetime, and parties. It's been half a century since put-Christ-back-in-Christmas was an issue that failed. You don't see Xmas much after that, which is about all that came of that campaign. Christmas was a happy time in my childhood and I continue to enjoy the spirit of it. This is the time of year that keeps the whole economy going; each year the oligarchs' off-shore tax-free bank accounts grow fatter, Walmart's tentacles reach a little further. The corporate race is on, all the way around the world, to take all our money away from us and make the middle class and working class into a peasant class of sweatshop-cheap labor.
By this time in advanced mind-control, Christmas is the time of year when the HaveNots give and the Haves take, all the way to the Cayman Islands. Wednesday, Dudley Carpenter and I were talking in Selma's coffee shop of how Christmas in our lifetimes has become about greed and greed only. It's the time of year for all-out advertising and going for the gold. The mega corporations have taken Christmas away from small businesses, have put small businesses out of business everywhere. They've rendered small towns dependent on the big corporations, like in the cities. Individual initiative is being squeezed out of the American people at an alarming rate. Jesus is the reason for the season. From watching a football game with friends last night, today my head is a whirlwind of intensely eye-grabbing commercials, subliminal appeals for the money I don't have. Images to make me hungry, thirsty, inadequate, needing more, wanting what I can't have, like a BMW sports model that's a good incentive to go to law school. Too late. Didn't want it anyway. Tis the season of money and stuff. If Jesus is the reason for all-night shopping, you know he feels like he's not worth much.
I've looked at the weather forecast for near future. Looks like 3 days and nights of snow, 2 days of sun, then 2 days and nights of rain to wash away what snow hasn't yet melted. Ground water. We need ground water. That's a week of precip. Water from above. Hooray. I'd like to have water again after the pipes thaw. I've heard talk of snow up to a foot, all the way from none. Over the last several years, I've noticed tv and radio weather spokespersons talk with more alarm in their voices, making drama out of weather. They make groundcover snow sound threatening and dangerous. They find a wreck somewhere and point at it, saying, SEE, YOU COULD DIE OUT THERE, BE VERY AFRAID. I find I do best taking the weather as it happens. Forecasts are so often off that it makes it too confusing to hear a forecast, then another one that alters it, then one that deletes all that went before. I like to practice patience waiting to see what the weather is as it happens. Sometimes I'll check weather.com when I start hearing conflicting reports of forecasts that say something is on its way. I went out and wiped down the glass on the car with vinegar so I won't have to scrape ice off the glass after the snow.