Instead of espousing the cliché of Christmas turning into a commercialized holiday (it’s as if business only started catering to Christmas shoppers recently) and becoming Kafkaesque, I will iterate my romantic ideal of what Christmas ought to be and make it my wish list for the next four or five weeks.
Sure, it would be extraordinary to have a brand new Canon DSLR for work, a new suit for our attendance to the opera in February (Richard Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde”) or a $500 gift card to Tim Hortons. However, I understand the circumstances that the economy is in and how we all must live within our means no matter how accustomed we are to the finer things in life.
At a time when parents are spending $271 per child
with money they don’t have, colleagues are buying futile and insincere gifts for people they have no adoration for and in-laws purchasing items they hardly ever communicate with, it’s perfect to realize that gift-giving may not necessarily bring the long-term happiness we desperately yearn for, but rather only the short-term (few seconds) excitement.
What is my real wish list for Christmas? One of the aspirations is to spend time with my loved ones, which is in this case, my lovely wife-to-be, our darling and (sometimes) mischievous cats, my mother-in-law, my best buddy in the world and my latest Thomas Sowell book.
Santa Claus may ask me if there is anything else on my list. Well, eating great Portuguese cuisine at my in-laws’ comfortable residence, indulging in a Tim Hortons double-double, an apple fritter and/or even an Iced Cappuccino, viewing some great holiday classics, like “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Holiday Inn,” “I’ll Be Seeing You” and “The Thin Man,” and taking a small break from the computer screen (I know the last one will be impossible).
Indeed, I’m not a materialistic individual with expensive desires nor will I be demanding presents in this economic state. Instead, I will be expecting peace, pleasantness and the sweet Christmas songs performed during the sublime swing era in the 1930s and 1940s.
Is this asking too much? The way we have become disconnected from one another it may seem so. Would it be easier to exchange mild pleasantries and give each other a gift? Perhaps. Or perhaps love is the truest gift of all as it has infinite facets in this multi-verse full of loneliness, misery, suffering and unhappiness and it does not require fiat currency, bullion or blood, sweat and tears (maybe blood).
To my fellow habitants of this lovely planet: let’s disregard gifts this year and just take pleasure in each other’s company with the art of conversation, a game of backgammon and a good old fashion pipe.
Oh, that reminds me. I have to continue my Christmas shopping and return to my didacticisms at a later date. I shall leave you with this quote:
“We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.” – Orson Welles