Saturday, December 8, 2018

All I Want for Christmas...Is for Everyone to Calm Down

Let’s all ho-ho-hold on a minute and calm way down.

If you haven’t heard, it’s 2018, which means we all get in an uproar over any and everything. The latest thing we’ve gotten our knickers in a twist over is the beloved Christmas song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Apparently, the #metoo movement and all easily-offended people have decided that this is the year we start banning holiday songs that disagree with our sense of right and wrong. Is it a strange song? Yes. Does it evoke images of Bill Cosby with lines such as “hey, what’s in this drink?” You bet your puddin’ pops. But should we be able to look the other way and just enjoy the classic? One would hope but who knows?

We aren’t supposed to listen to “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” anymore as it promotes bullying. And “White Christmas” is harboring white supremacist notions. Hearing this makes me wonder what else we might have been turning a blind eye to.

“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” probably isn’t sensitive to the homeless.

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” excludes the overweight population.

“Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!” simply mocks the global warming enthusiasts.

“Santa Baby” is downright mysogynist and doesn’t empower women to make their own way, instead forcing them to rely on a man (in a red suit).

Elvis’ “Blue Christmas” is exclusionary of the other colors. And don’t even get me started on the offensive nature of the Porky Pig version.

“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree…” where do I begin. Offensive to other genres of music and other holiday decorations.

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year?” Offensive to the other 364 days.

“Last Christmas” is offensive to this Christmas.

"Jingle Bells" single-handedly diminishes two-or-more-horse AND closed-style sleighs.

“Little Drummer Boy” could hurt the feelings of a Large Violin-Playing Gal.

“Do You Hear What I Hear?” is just asking for lawsuits from the hearing- and visually-impaired community.

“I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” is offensive to all other animals and is especially hurtful to crocodiles and rhinosauruses.

I wonder what would happen if we, instead of being offended at every possible turn, looked for the positive, the good? Instead of pointing fingers, what if we gave high fives? Instead of scrutinizing, what about celebrating? And instead of being hyper-sensitive, what if we were hyper-positive and kind. In an effort to not exclude anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings, this behavior has the opposite effect. While we’re all busy tip-toeing around on egg shells, terrified of a misstep that will set off a land mine of accusations and insensitivity, we’re creating a culture of less

When I check out at a store, the clerk isn’t allowed to bestow a holiday greeting on me and, in turn, I don’t extend a “Merry Christmas” or a “Happy Holiday” for fear of offending them. So I wind up muttering “thank you” and going about my way. And it’s here where less isn’t more, but just, well, less.

All year long, I look forward to the few weeks at the end of the year when people are a little bit nicer, a little kinder. I like the acts of giving and receiving. I enjoy seeing my neighbors’ decorations and putting up my own. I take delight in both sending and receiving cards. And the music? Well, it’s as much a soundtrack of my life as it is my holiday. When I hear the old classics, I’m immediately taken back to my childhood, lying on my stomach on the living room floor, staring up at the Christmas tree. The laughter of souls long since departed wafts through the air, mingling with the scents of home cooking. I see prettily-wrapped gifts and remember a kinder, gentler time. There’s music playing. Wonderful, magical music. And all I think is I couldn’t love these people, these memories, or this time of year more. Let’s get back to this level of sensibility where the only snowflakes are the ones on our noses and eyelashes.