Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Bahs

So I wake up, log onto Yahoo, since it's my home page, and scan through the morning headlines, going through my routines of pages as I do. What strikes me as odd was at the top of the Yahoo! page, where it shows what the daily most searched for things are. #4 on the list was "Video Game Cheats" At 9:10AM! This means that, at the very earliest, the children (or adults) got their video games the night prior, but more likely it was first thing that morning. So barely 2 hours go by and they're already looking for cheat codes for the games. On Christmas! They're cheating on Christmas! Whatever happened to developing the skills needed to beat a game, all by yourself? Most games are constructed in a scaffolding manner, much like Donkey Kong's beams, so that, through learning and experience, you master a game. There are no need for invincibility codes or Konami codes or whatever. Now, of course, this statement is false, because there is no way you can beat Contra without the Konami code. And occasionally there are just bosses that are programmed to be impossible. Then, if the game gets in the way of the story, then it's fine to use codes to get past that area. I used God Mode at the end of American Mcgee's Alice because the last boss was impossible.

But to look up cheat codes 2 hours after opening the box? That's insane! It speaks of how life is today. People want it. Now. Without effort, without reward. Take the ladder at the very beginning of Candy Land up to the top, and make it an easy victory. Don't reorganize the company, just ask the government for bailout money. Don't study for the test, just reorganize the school system so nobody fails. In my opinion, everyone who looked up codes for games 2 hours after they got it should be taken to the "naughty list" side, and Santa should come back on the 26th and take back his gifts. They weren't appreciated.

And what, then, should we do on Christmas day, after the church services and the dinners and the gifts opening? After the games played and the conversations made and the obligatory trips to relatives, near or far. What then should we do? Because the world, on that one day of December 25th, is put in a holding pattern, with everything shut down, closed, unless you like egg rolls, not to start again until the 26th. The entire nation rests. And that's good, I guess, as long as you don't need something. Where do you go when you are sick on the 25th, and a persistent cough needs Robitussin? Or when the pain of a tooth gets so bad that Orajel and Aspirin barely takes care of it, but it's enough, but there's none to be had. Or the sudden realization that you are out of milk. The whole world shouldn't just shut down for Christmas. I'm sure there would be people out there that would love to work a day out of the year while the other workers stayed home. Take the unemployed and let them run the registers at a local Krogers. That would be enough. The rest could be handled by the people that have to work because there is no other choice.... the ER, the policemen, the firemen. Those that keep us safe and alive.

Should we celebrate Christmas as a one special day out of the whole year, or is it that Christmas should be a continuation of the rest of our lives? We should say that Christ was born that day long ago so that we could go on living. And not that the day should be at a standstill while people sit at home and wait. Most people would not agree with me, as they have friends, relatives, people around them that they can visit and go eat meals with. But, unfortunately, there are some for whom that doesn't work out. Not all of us have family close together, and there are some whose friends are just as far apart. And so, we wait. And it puts too much pressure on that one day, to treat it like the most special of days in the year, when it should be the same as any other day. And by that I mean that it should be as special a day as the rest of the year, for we are alive, and living, and loving, and participating in the life cycle which we have created for ourselves. Should this day, Christmas especially, a day when the beginning of a life is celebrated, be done by stopping everyone's lives? If that is the case, then let us set aside a day where we nap the whole day, and not worry about fancy dinners and gifts and church services. We could call it "Do Nothing Day," and it would serve the same purpose. For Christmas, let's celebrate living by living. It is the greatest gift that we have, or could give, for our fellow men.

While in the past, I have commented on how wonderful the Yule Log broadcasts on WATL 36 is, especially for people who don't have a fireplace (apartments) or who are allergic to fireplace smoke (me), I do realize the down side to this. Namely, that on Christmas day, everyone packs it up and shuts it down. HSN is on a two hour repeated B-Roll, most of the cable stations are running marathons of only one movie, shown over and over the whole day, with the stations running on automatic, and unless Christmas falls on Monday or Sunday, there is no football games on. Only Basketball, which bores me so. Football should be on every holiday, so that, if we must wait out the endless hours of doing nothing, at least we can watch football while we're doing it. The bright spot of Christmas this year was that at least The Price is Right was on, and Comedy Central ran some of their best specials. But I guess that's what the DVD player and is for. I should have had my own Phineas and Ferb marathon on my computer. At least I would have been merry.

I guess it's just me. Christmas has never been the most special of holidays that everyone else seems to regard it as. Yes, I know all about the true meanings of Christmas, and I take that to heart. But the actual living through Christmas, when everything is not so Thomas Kincaid in our house as it seems to be in others, is sometimes hard. And maybe it's just me, but changing the patterns of life, from something routine to something special, is hard. Sometimes what is the most comforting about any day is waking up and going through the motions. For at least then, there is continuity, there is some purpose about what you are doing. There must be a reason why, every Christmas, I end up getting sick (not this one, yet), my mom ends up with a migraine, and my grandmother winds up talking all day about this death and that sickness, far much more than routine days. Sometimes it's better for the same old thing to happen. When the peaks aren't too high, and the Valleys aren't too low, things are level, and much like the ocean, when that happens, it's calm and pleasant. And like the ocean, in life, when a high is reached, a corresponding low must also exist. And it's those times that are not worth going through sometimes.

I know this is not how I usually think. Standing on the mountain tops is what I strive for, even with the drops being as dangerous as they are. But occasionally, one must taste the opposite opinion, to see if it holds merit. And I see that it does. So tomorrow, I'll probably be merry and happy and epicurean as ever. But for now, the calm, continuous road is good for me.

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