Goin' all Griswold in Littleton, Colorado
Let's just say we do away with the little fat cat in a bright red suit. No Father Christmas, Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, jolly old elf, etc. Let's also just say there is no babe away in a manger, no festival of the nativity, no Gloria in excelsis Deo.
However, lets keep the tradition of wishing each other Happy Holidays, and peace on earth, goodwill toward men. It doesn't hurt the world one bit when we all spend a few days sharing smiles and treating each other with a little mutual respect, even if it's not as honest a feeling as it could be - let's call it "practice"
It doesn't have to be a specific holiday we wish someone to be happy about, either. We could just go around wishing each other a "Happy Happiness Day" or a "Happy Peace Day" - whatever works for you is fine with me. I just think it's important we have at least one day a year where the human family pauses for a moment and expresses something other than "Fcuk You" to one another.
The sending of cards is also a tradition that should be kept. It's nice to get some real mail at least once a year, as opposed to bills or adverts. Some of my friends are pretty creative with the cards they send, which is pretty cool. I get a few letters with some of the cards too, which convey information about friends and family members that I find interesting, so we should keep those too.
Decorating the houses has got to stay as well. It gets dark early at this time of year, and all the bright lights and elaborate decorations brighten things up in a manner that goes far beyond mere illumination. Plus, it's a creative outlet for some people that have no other creative outlets (at least among my circle of friends).
Gift giving, especially to the wee bairns, needs to stay. Sure, kids these days have everything already, but maybe setting aside one day a year when they are shown some real affection and attention, and given something that comes from the heart, something other than a video game, maybe that will reinforce the notion that they are loved and valued a little bit.
Gift giving should be continued between adults, too. It is extremely important that adults convey affection between one another in the form of gifts, especially if one of those gifts is a lovingly bequeathed bottle of Breckenridge bourbon from one neighbor to another.
Holiday parties, if they are not mandatory and are not put together on the cheap, need to stick around. The tradition of getting together with family, friends, co-workers, etc. to exchange gifts and pleasantries, eat lots of good food, share in fond memories, and generally have a good time - well, there's nothing wrong with that at all.
Hmmm...maybe a community gathering of sorts might be in order to celebrate all this generosity and good cheer. Possibly an assembly at which a community leader (or leaders) could give a speech that elaborates on all that we have to be happy about or grateful for. Nothing too involved, just an hour or so, maybe everybody could sing a few happy songs together at this dealio.
If every little community in the world could somehow find a way to make this happen, this "National Peace Day" or "National Stop Trying To Kill Your Neighbors Day", just imagine how much nicer the world would be.
Just for a day or two, maybe a week. Then we'll all go back to business as usual.