02:12:16 pm on
Saturday 31 Jul 2021

Holidays 2020
Matt Seinberg

I admit that I am not a fan of the holiday season that starts after Thanksgiving. People get crazy with shopping and going to the post office. They drive like it’s the last thing that they are going to do.

Why does Christmas start at Thanksgiving or earlier?

Combine that with the Christmas music that starts on Thanksgiving in stores. my own included, and the radio. There are radio stations that start playing holiday music before Thanksgiving, even after Halloween. Hallmark Christmas movies start around the same time; good grief.

It’s not the music itself that I hate, but the mind-numbing repetition. The same songs play over and over every four-to-six hours, every single day. Sometimes my mind is so dumb from hearing these same songs I just want to bang my head against a wall to kill the pain.

I like the classics from Bing Crosby, Perry Como and even Elvis Presley, but the newer versions are just horrible. Even my co-workers, who celebrate Christmas, agree with the repetition angle. Luckily, I take vacation time from work the week before Christmas, so at least I’m spared from those last few days.

I wish people a “Happy Holiday season,” not Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or anything else. It’s not worth taking the chance on offending someone by saying the wrong holiday. People are way too sensitive these days about things.

When I was a youngster, I knew there was a difference between Christmas and Hanukkah. Christmas is more of a religious holiday, while Hanukkah is the festival of lights. Yes, both holidays offer presents galore. Christmas is one big day of joy, while Hanukkah spreads it out of 8 nights. For a kid that seems like eternity.

Celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas in one home.

My older daughter, Michelle, now lives with her boyfriend and they celebrate both holidays. We gave a menorah for Hanukkah and they decorated a Christmas tree together in their apartment. Even as a kid, she liked going to the homes of friends to help decorate their trees.

Melissa has a Hanukkah bush in her room. It’s really a small Christmas tree, but I’ll humor her with calling it a bush. She puts lights on it and likes to watch it twinkle. We always kid with her that Hanukkah Harry brings practical gifts, such as socks and underwear; we get dirty looks for that, but we laugh.

I made it easy this year and gave her my credit card to buy jeans. How can you not a like a gift you pick out yourself? I know, there are those that don’t, thinking that taking the time to personalise a gift is most important.

I have a friend who is going through a tough time now and the medical bills for his wife are starting to pile up. Combine that with normal expenses such as food, rent, utilities, and cars and by the third week of the month there’s not much left over. Even with their daughter contributing to the expenses, it’s still tough.

I would love to help, but I just went through medical expenses, as well, and just can’t afford to help. So, I set up a Go Fund Me for him and shared it on social media. It’s up to him to manage it and get the word out. Hopefully, his social network will be feeling generous this holiday season.

Shopping has certainly changed for sure this year. Black Friday set records for dollars spent online, as did Cyber Monday. People are still not comfortable going to malls with Covid-10 still a huge risk. Every day there are more reports about the record number of deaths in the country.

Luckily, we now have a vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration to be distributed around the country and another approval due shortly. The first person on Long Island to get it was a nurse, who said she was tired of seeing death all around her.

Festivus for the rest of us.

So, here’s hoping for a happy and healthy 2021! Happy Holidays to everyone from Santa Claus and Hanukkah Harry. Festivus for the rest of us.

 

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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