To hell with all that.

It was Christmas Eve night, pulled off to the side of the Jersey Turnpike, at around 11 pm or so and peeing into the night–yup–that I realized, This whole thing is insane.

No, no, it was earlier.  It was the day before, stalking the aisles at Kings Supermarket, wearing red corduroy pants with blue whales and listening to dogs bark “Jingle Bells”–yup–that I realized, This whole thing is insane.

There’s gift shopping and wrapping and office parties and office brunches and Secret Santa and staple-gunning up the blue lights and then wham, it’s done.  It’s December 26th, and it’s gray and cold and rainy and slushy outside, and after a terrific brunch with old friends, everyone in my family scattered, flew the Christmas coop.  On the way into town for coffee I clicked on the radio, and instead of Andy Williams crooning his way through “Most Wonderful Times of the Year” for the, I don’t know, billionth time, it was Bryan Adams amping up with “Heaven.”

I guess that’s what makes the most sense about Christmas to me: It’s theater.  You stage-manage the troops, put all this energy into it, do the best you can, look past the stuff you didn’t do (never got to watch It’s A Wonderful Life this year!) and then, just like the last performance of a play, the curtain falls and all you have are some digital photos you’ll look at once on Facebook.  Huh.

So here’s an early New Year’s resolution:  Maybe keep a little bit of this merry, crazy, delightful holiday in my heart the rest of the 11 months.  I mean, why not be nicer to people, wish ’em the best?  It seems like not too much to do when we do so much leading up to yesterday.

Now, if you’ve seen this you’ll realize:  I miss John Denver.

Happy Day After Chrismukkah!

Addendum:  The day after this post, the tree fell down.  Yes it did, kids.

It's over. Really over.

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