This year has been a rough one. For as tough of a pill as 2016 was to swallow throughout much of it, this one seemed to take the cake… and throw it out the window while maniacally laughing like a demon. Damn it, demon year! We wanted to eat that cake.
On top of everything else on my mind (which has thankfully been able to reside in another galaxy lately), today is Christmas, or Xmas, as I prefer to call it now thanks to Futurama taking what started as a mixture of winter festivals that were funneled into a Christian occasion and making it a truly universal celebration. Whatever you celebrate this time of year, the winter solstice holiday season is a time to gather together with friends and family to appreciate each other and the joys of life. Unfortunately, I have come to despise Christmas over the years – part of why I have stopped referring to it as Christmas in favor of Xmas – due to a number of factors like but not limited to:
- My frustrating extended family’s presence
- My frustrating extended family’s narrow view of the world and people living in it
- My cousins – who I like – receiving an immense degree of appreciation from other members of our family I’m less crazy about because they better fit the ideas of “success” that those other family members hold (it hurts more when people you also appreciate, but more for being good people, are praised more than you simply because they make more cha-ching. Not all of us pursued careers in business, Uncle Bob!)
- My family terrifying my dog by arriving in such great numbers and feeding her junk food that upsets her stomach. A little turkey or ham is fine, Aunt Jean, but when everybody offers her some… do you see what I’m driving at?
- Enduring my tenth Christmas without my dad. My grandmothers too, one of which I lost right after Christmas one year. I’m certainly not lost without three of my most beloved family members, but I do greatly miss them even after many years. I know I’m not alone in this, as the holidays make us remember the good times and the good people we once had.
I have previously stated my disdain for the repetitive music that plagues this time of year, and I still shake my fist at the avalanche of Christmas covers that consume the airwaves whenever I jump off my Spotify playlist; however, I did hear one of my favorite songs that is Christmasy-inclined recently, and it helped me to remember the good memories of this day and to focus on the positives of living here and now. It may be crazy, both with Christmas, and outside of it, but damn it we should enjoy the good parts where we can, and thanks to Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon, I am smiling today after hearing their terrific song, “Thank God It’s Christmas”. I gave a gracious shoutout to Queen and this tune in my aforementioned Christmas songs post, and here I’m singing the praises of Rock and Roll’s greatest singer once again. Whenever this season encapsulates you with its madness, or whenever you think about anything anyone “in charge” did this year or in the past, or whenever anyone spills the beans on a scene from The Last Jedi and you still haven’t gotten to see it (but, c’mon, it had the second-biggest opening, how were you not one of those people?), then listen to Freddie and the gang truly offer tidings of comfort and joy:
Thanks for reading and listening! Have yourself a Merry little or large Christmas and awesome final week of this troubling year. Let’s make the most of the remainder of this year and carry on strong into the next. I’ll be back next week with my annual must-hear songs post, followed by my annual recap of my favorite movies from the year.