This is it. This is our day. As I write this, it is Christmas Eve, a day that used to take 358539 days to get to in December, but now only takes 24. I used to dawdle and shuffle, my parents would hiss at me to pick up my feet when I walked. Time moves faster now. I hurl through time and space. I get older too.
Take a breath on Christmas. Just stop for one moment. Perhaps a moment to notice how horrid your neighbor’s lights truly are. It’s okay to fall behind. To dawdle. Take a picture while you’re back there.
When you were a child, each year was an award. Each year you were better, bigger than the others. You were seven. Then you were Eight. Then NINE. THEN YOU WERE TEN. OH HO HO CRAP TWO DIGITS. Each year got more awesome.
You are still young. You are alive and well. Each year is another grand prize, and if you don’t believe it, then you need to walk slower, because you’re speeding by it too fast. One time I was in a race on my bike with this kid, and I crashed into a mailbox, chipping my front tooth off.
However, the bloody leg wound is what scared me, and I hobbled home in tears. Mom patched me up and later when I felt like my bad ass self again, I bragged, smiling gappy-mouthed, “look Ma, and I lost a tooth!” I still remember her infurated blood-spitting reaction, and I didn’t race again. Today my front tooth is a fake crown and I can’t bite into apples. Don’t go fast. It’ll ruin apples.
Stop on your daily walks and talk to dogs. Eat saltines and peanut butter. Stay a little longer than you should, having that extra drink. Be a few minutes late, because you were reading the back of the toothpaste label and wondering if anyone ever calls the customer service hot line.
When I learn of someone who says Christmas just isn’t as fun as it used to be, I wish bike fallings on them, the miserable scrooges. This morning I heard the radio tracking Santa on the radar and I felt the magic. YES, he’s in FUCKING MICRONESIA and boy he’s coming here tonight. It is still fun as ever — but like Robin Williams in Hook — maybe you just forgot how to crow.
I wasn’t raised in a particularly religious household, but Christmas was someone’s birthday–freaking Jesus Christ’s birthday–so that meant a kick ass celebration. I mean, you sometimes got invited to birthday parties of kids you weren’t friends with, but you still brought a wrapped Ninja Turtle and ate some cake out of respect. On birthdays, you celebrate. So don’t give me the Christmas too commercial crap. If that’s how you celebrate, it’s cool. If you go to church, that’s cool too. If you chew out slow-ass cashiers on Christmas eve, dude that is so not cool.
One problem I see today is that for a lot of families, Christmas has become a day where we exchange wads of cash. A gift card to Susie, a gift card from Bobby, all the Christmas shopping done in the checkout line at Safeway. People, that’s crap! Gifts cards can definitely be cool, but they ought to be given in moderation. Give a real gift…love. Just kidding. Wrap something up you cheapskate. The Walgreens is still open. The popcorn tins are 50% off.
I’ve had this thought all season about Brenda Lee’s Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree. It has that atmospheric, cosmic twang, but firmly rooted in Americana, like anything Dylan was going for in his mid-60s output. That’s a good song. That is all.
Well. Like I said. Slow down. Do shots. Take pictures. And brush your hair for once. Merry Happy Christmas and Hannakah and Holidays, everybody, from The Pizza. Surf on.