Despite the unseasonably warm weather (which I’m by no means complaining about), we find ourselves now firmly and deeply imbedded in the month of December. This means that, like it or not, even a cynical curmudgeon like me has no choice but to get into the holiday spirit of things. My favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, has come and gone. Christmas is just a couple of very short weeks away, and my second child’s birthday is fast approaching in between the two. Even though these events happen the same time every year, if I started preparing in March I would still never be ready emotionally, financially, domestically, or otherwise. I have these delusions of grandeur year after year and try to convince myself that I’m going to start earlier and be completely prepared in advance. Money will be saved, shopping will be done, house will be clean, gifts will be wrapped, house will be decorated, groceries purchased and holiday menus planned. Very much like I tell myself every year that this will be the summer that I frequent the beach and get a tan. Somehow, I actually have myself convinced of this philosophy every year until I look at the calendar and realize that it’s the second week of December and I’ve done nothing. This year is no exception.

I’d like to start by wishing all of my many friends to whom it applies a Happy Hanukkah. Everyone else, I wish you all happiness in the coming weeks in whatever holiday you celebrate. To those of you who celebrate nothing in the coming weeks I wish you happiness in just being alive. I’m one of those rebels who still says Merry Christmas, even to complete strangers. So if I happen to say Merry Christmas to you in the coming weeks and it doesn’t apply to you, I’m not going to apologize. Simply take it for what it is…me wishing happiness and wellness to another HUMAN BEING during a time of year that is so meaningful and joyous to so many globally. It’s certainly not a personal affront to you and your beliefs. If that’s the way you take it, than perhaps it’s time for you to grow a thicker skin. If my holiday salutation insults you, then I have a different message for you that unfortunately decorum won’t permit me to print here. And I promise you’ll find that one offensive!

This is a season of happiness regardless of your beliefs. I’m growing increasingly impatient with the double edged sword of people preaching tolerance and acceptance to me while at the same time I’m being told what I can say, celebrate, and display for fear of offending someone else. I want all of you to go back and read that last sentence again. Read it out loud if you have to, but let it sink in. Grasp how incredibly ridiculous, yet tragically poignant those words are. If you can’t absorb the twisted irony to it, than perhaps you shouldn’t be reading my stuff. Go back to practicing pointless hatred. I personally don’t have the capacity for hatred. I don’t care in the slightest what holidays you celebrate, what your religious or political beliefs are, what your race or ethnicity is, your sexual orientation, or your socio-economic status. I simply wish you all well during this season of peace and happiness. And let me just make things clear for what it’s worth. If I have any disdain for you, it’s simply because you’re an asshole, not for any of the above reasons.

I know this isn’t your standard holiday article, but there’s a reason I’m stowed away in the editorial section of this publication under a blanket disclaimer. I actually love this time of year, if only for my children and my own fond childhood memories. Given recent events both globally and nationally, I think this is the perfect time to take a break from all of the bitterness and intolerance and hit the reset button. It’s a season to come together and enjoy our existence. I’ll put it very simply into perspective for you. If you are reading this, then it means you woke up today. Last I checked, that’s a pretty damned good thing. You might want to read that sentence a second time too. You’re alive! Celebrate it! Anything that happens the rest of the day is is just metaphoric gravy on a heaping pile of really great mashed potatoes.

I know it seems like I’m dumbing it all down and boiling it down to its’ essence, and essentially I am, but if you think about it, it really is that simple! I don’t agree with all of the proverbial holiday hooplah, but I don’t let it insult me. I just enjoy the ironies as I always do. I’m not sure how or when the storied birth of Christ morphed into flying reindeer, but I roll with it because it makes my kids happy, so in turn it makes me happy. I’m no botanist either, but I’d be willing to wager that the scotch pine, blue spruce, and douglas fir were not indigenous foliage in the town of Bethlehem (not Pennsylvania) on December 25, 0000. But I’ll still decorate a tree with colored balls, and miniature ornaments of Disney characters.

And if that illuminated dying tree in my window offends you, then don’t freakin’ look at it when you drive by. If a picture of my happy children sitting in Santa’s lap posted on Facebook insults you, then unfriend me. Chances are your incessant rambling, ill-informed, mindlessly opinionated political posts, be they left or right leaning, were pissing me off anyway. Good riddance ya big fat Scrooge.

In closing, I’ll reiterate that if I bump into you somewhere in the next few weeks and greet you with a smile and a hearty; “Merry Christmas”, just take it for what it is. My way of wishing happiness to another human being. Just smile and be on your way. If I happen to be urinating on your shoe as I say it, then by all means, be offended. But for now, I have no more time to explain the most simple things in life to you. I have to go get busy creating wonderfully happy lifelong memories for my children. And I can only hope that they cherish them half as much as I do the ones my parents created for me as a hatred free, innocent child.

So I’d like to wish you all an early Merry Christmas. Thanks for playing along. Until next week, Syd Nichols.

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