Tonawanda News

Columns

December 28, 2012

Parsing the events of the season

Tonawanda News — Hey, good to see you! How was your holiday? Yeah? That’s great! Me too.

Christmas, for me, was excellent, the right amount of socializing, eating, reflecting and resting, in doses I could handle. If yours was off in one category or another, well, you’ve got next year to modify it to your satisfaction.

The one “song of the season” I cannot stand, the one about grandma and the accident with the reindeer, I heard but once on the radio. My favorite, Chuck Berry’s “Run Run Rudolph” I heard a dozen times by different artists. Amy Grant and Celine Dion have better voices, I have concluded, than I’ve previously credited, and note this is the only time of the year old chestnuts like Bing, Perry and Gene Autry get any airplay (and add David Bowie to the category; if you think professional sport disregards its pioneers, take a look at the music business).

Only once this year did I offer “Happy holidays!” to someone and get the snarling, bite-your-hand-off response that I should have said “Merry Christmas.” My reply is always, “I withdraw the good wishes.” There.

Happy holidays, indeed. This is the time of year to celebrate Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the merciful end to the Buffalo Bills’ season, the tossing of old calendars and the installation of the new, and many others, as those rock and roll road shows used to say on theater marquees. We’ve got holidays galore, something to celebrate all the time; the end of the year is when we notice it, and thus do we attempt to bounce merrily into next year.

Personally, the concept of pushing the reset button, the Start from Square One, the resolution to make changes, has always been attractive to me, a typically American image highlighting the possible (and the symbolic junking of the old, down-to-one-page calendar, straight into the garbage can, recycling bin or shredder), and that’s what we have when we consider the opportunities of the new year. A clean sheet of paper, redolent of potential.

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