I walk the line

With apologies to Johnny Cash, this is about the “holiday season,” not about the sadness of convicts.  Thanks to a public Tweet from Jessamyn West, I read last week one of the very best explanatory screeds against the North American presumption of Christmas as a pan cultural holiday. This came a week or so after I was handed “poinsettia ordering duty” on the job–admittedly in a Christian country, not the US–and the day before I gathered a bunch of folks into a room to discover they were certain the reason for the confab was a Grinch-y dressing down over creeping “holiday decos.” Librarians elsewhere once dubbed me the “Bah Humbug of the bunch.” (Bunch of what went unsaid).

But yes, I walk the line. In the privacy of my own home, the kid was raised with the tradition of stocking hanging and no tradition of “the Christmas story.” (He’s settling his own hash now, by attending St. Sallie’s every Sunday this Advent). And the other night I came home from a day in the Grinch pit to the sweet man who is the kid’s father and his blasts of Christmas carols setting off a new living room display:

This doesn’t mean that I’ve forgiven one of my favourite coffee shops for its invasive caroling every morning in December and the removal of one of my favourite seats so the betinseled artificial tree can stand in its corner. Harmony in the home is one thing but please give me my open public spaces for a few more days before the descent into “The Season’s” bathos.

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