Posted in Freedom Friday

Christmas Talk Already?

I wrote an entirely different post for today that I eventually scrapped because I felt the tone was not conducive to a positive atmosphere. My original post poked fun at the phrase “pay it forward” and it’d implied a message of performing good deeds with the expectation of getting something in return. Some folks call it reciprocation, but I have a better word for it.

Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve

In my world, I call it a transaction.

Anyway, after thinking about it, for today’s Freedom Friday I decided to talk about something else.

With winter right around the corner, it’s that time of year when I start thinking about putting the lawn furniture away, raking the leaves, and sealing all doors and windows to our house in preparation for those cold days when all I can see is my breath floating in the air. For some, autumn is over the day after Halloween. The Christmas lights go up. The carols play in the department stores. And the first snowflakes hit the ground.

It’s also the same time of year that many use to finish old or plan new projects. In my case, I look forward to this time as a way to draw closer to the family. Given I have such a stringent writing schedule, it’s nice to settle indoors and spend time with the people I love.

Christmas shopping season madness
Christmas shopping season madness

However, in the hustle and bustle of yearend, I’m eagerly anticipating one thing—Christmas shopping season. It may be a strange thing to think about, considering Christmas is a month away, but I actually love the buzz in the stores. As we get closer to that fateful period. Many of the game manufacturers wait until now to deliver their most prized treasures to consumers.

I know the film industry is on top of it. Who can deny Jurassic World hasn’t already prep’d the audience last summer with the subliminal suggestion that folks ought to offer the DVD or Blu-Ray as a gift under the tree? The whole opening sequence to the movie has Christmas in mind.

Then LEGO announced recently the company has a brick shortage and won’t be able to fill all its orders on time, in spite of opening new manufacturing plants throughout the world. I don’t know about you but Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without at least one LEGO set making an appearance. Isn’t there some unwritten rule about that? I don’t know.

Let’s not forget the crowds. Oh, how much the crowds make up the best part of the season. Elbow to elbow, everyone gunning for the last toy on the shelf. Is there anything else that can be so perfect?

Of course, I’m being facetious. The idea of driving around senseless to grab the last parking spot in the mall so that I can drag my butt into a store I never will visit again to buy a toy that in a year’s time will end up as part of a junk heap really appeals to me. Do you see me jumping for joy?

Okay, so maybe I’m not really looking forward to Christmas as much as I thought, but you can’t tell me it isn’t fun watching the season unfold into chaos. That’s the best part.

Nothing quite replaces the spirit of giving when everyone’s thinking about materialism.

After all, greed and fear is what makes the economy go around, especially during this time of year.

Get the Ranger Martin zombie trilogy now!

Are you looking forward to the holiday season? What are your plans?


Jack Flacco is an author and the founder of Looking to God Ministries, an organization dedicated to spreading the Word of God through outreach programs, literature and preaching.

18 thoughts on “Christmas Talk Already?

  1. Funny that you mention it, Jack. Although a number of stories and movies have tackled the holidays (just watched a wild one on the other night about a hallucinating Santa who went on a murderous rampage; parts of it were so campy they were laughable, which I assume was the intent). In any case . . . although it’s been done, I can actually picture a one-off “Ranger Martin and the Shop-ocalypse” or some such. Shoppers becoming literal zombies; maybe back to the origins of Ranger Martin. Anyway, yeah, I get you about the ‘pay it forward’ idea. There’s a (to-remain-nameless) group that wanted kid and I to participate; it was a great, philanthropic idea as far as that goes and I was on-board with it, but they then lost me by inserting religion (that we were required to send a religious greeting/note to the recipient). I would never want to force anyone into (any) religion or guilt them that way. It seemed to me, then, that the gift would have been ‘strings attached.’ So, sigh, we’ll do other charity related things the best that we can! Here in the States, of course, we’re getting ready for T’giving, and the stores remind us with banners and ads, etc. “X days until Christmas.” Again, “They Live” in real life: consume-consume-buy-spend-meaningless-garbage. Anyway, yes, onto positivity. Happy weekend, Jack & family!

  2. As humorous as your sarcasm is about the crowds and materialism that takes over this season is, it’s also so sad how true that really happens to be. I do love this time of year but totally agree that is is way too easy to get our heads (and our wallets) in the wrong place.

  3. I like giving gifts to people and doing extra special things for people, especially around the holidays. I never worry about what people do or buy for me because I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by very loving people all year. That being said, I do not enjoy Black Friday madness. I don’t appreciate people skipping over Thanksgiving to get to Christmas. I don’t understand the panic over toys or TVs. It’s all just stuff. I get more panicked over finding a balance between being there for my team at work so that they can enjoy time with their loved ones, while still making my own family a friends a priority. There is never enough time.

  4. Hey Jack – I’m looking forward to the holidays. For me they start with Thanksgiving (where we still have fall colors and gourds) and then start to ramp up with Little Christmas/St. Nick’s on the 5th, and then Christmas. I enjoy the music and the lights and the atmosphere, but we don’t do a lot of spending $ – just food, good times and some sightseeing.

    1. I’m totally with you there, Katie. Love the 3-F’s. Food, family and fun. I can’t wait until our lights go up the first week in December. It’s such a beautiful time of year.

  5. The internet has changed the way that we shop for the holidays. My wife, her sister and cousins used to run to the malls and outlets. They still do, to an extent, but its tapered down considerably. We get most of our shopping done via Amazon, ThinkGeek and other sites. I get shirts printed at Spreadshirt, because a lot of the stuff we like isn’t commercially available locally (think grindcore, death metal and other similar acts from small countries that don’t have the ability to sell merchandise in the USA).

    At this point, the only thing I regularly run out for is food, but in the weeks before the rush, I do browse stores nearby and see if anything catches my eye. If there’s a line, I’m out the door though. I’ve never liked crowds while shopping.

  6. I guess I look forward to the kid being home since I no longer have to wake up early and we can go on outings. Never tried to challenge the stores during Black Friday though. Some friends and family do. They return acting like they just won a boxing match or slew a dragon. Way too much pride for buying a discount TV and knocking over an old man to do so. Honestly, it’s a shame that this is part of the holiday season. Seems to go against the rest of it.

    1. I really do love my sleep now that I don’t suffer from insomnia anymore. A few years ago, I was averaging 2 hours of sleep a night. Sleeping in is the best part now. I wake up a 4:52 every morning, but on weekends, I regularly head to bed between midnight and 1, only to wake up at 8 or 9 the next day. And family? Nothing beats spending time with them.

      1. For some reason, I can’t bring myself to sleep in. I think part of it is because my son’s current school schedule causes me to wake up early to get work done before getting him ready. Otherwise, I find my entire morning sucked up by emails, tweets, and other notifications. My body doesn’t realize when it’s a weekend, so I wake up before 6 AM no matter what.

  7. Reblogged this on thepageofdaniel and commented:
    Ah, our strange, semi – ambivalent relation with the Yule season. I’d hate to explain how a feast day commemorating the Nativity evolved into a frenzied secular celebration involving football ( in the U.S. ), eating till you burst, & commercialism to a being from another world.

  8. Christmas has changed a lot from when I was a kid, I admit it, & I’m probably giving away my age when doing so. But I still love the holiday for all the faults we humans have heaped on it – commercialism, materialism, greed, even sex* ( * I say that because I got Sports Illustrated Swimsuit calendars for the last 2 Christmases ! 🙂 ) I’m emotionally gearing up for the holiday.
    To me, it’s ( Christmas & Hanukkah ) a nice bright spot in an otherwise drab, dreary, COLD season, when I’d much rather be celebrating it in some place, like, Tampa, Miami, Key West. The Winters in Middle TN can be as rough any Canadian Winter, Temp – wise. So any reason for a spot of celebration is 24 kt. golden.
    & I do most of my shopping online hehehe…..

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