Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New 2006! Wouldn’t the holiday season just be weird if it were in the middle of the year? Celebrate the big gift-giving holidays and then, “back to work, you’ve got 6 more months until the New Year’s party – ” Yick! There’s just something about having Christmas, and Hanukkah stacked next to the new year that gives it such an expectation December Global Holidays.
I suppose it doesn’t hurt that throughout our childhood lives, the holiday season not only meant gifts, it meant 2 weeks away from school and free time. For me, though, it was the time with my extended family that made all the difference. I could celebrate the holidays with my immediate family of four, but there was just something completely incomplete about not having the grandparents, cousins, arguments, laughing, and food-binge-fests around. And I miss it.
Now that all of my grandparents and half of my Aunts and Uncles are gone, I find my holidays (Thanksgiving included) to be really sad affairs. I in fact have so dreaded the holidays that I wait to put the tree and lights up until the last minute, I take as many playing gigs as I can to stay busy, I refuse to send Christmas cards or go to holiday parties – humbug! I find that I cry during the tale of “A Christmas Carol” and “The Grinch that Stole Christmas.” I relate with the protagonists in those redemptive stories. Strangely, I find that once I get the Christmas tree up along with the lights and paraphernalia, it occurs to me that I should just leave them up all year, because it makes the house so cheery.
So you’re saying, “Mark, I’m confused. Do you or do you not like Christmas?” I say, I can’t live without it. What has made it so powerful to me, however, has nothing to do with gifts, or lights: it has to do with the grandest of all excuses for a mass familial get together – that I no longer have. Thus, when the holiday season rolls around, it hurts. It doesn’t help that I’m single either. Worse yet, I live in Los Angeles, and like the rest of you Angelinos, I don’t even know my neighbors. The more I look, the more I find that lots of people feel the same way that I do. I hate that.
So now you’re saying, “Okay Mark, now I’m depressed too. Get to the ‘fix it’ part.” See, I am the “possibility” of creating miracles in other people’s lives and whether through the use of film, music, or just a conversation, I love to inspire people to live more powerful lives. Unfortunately, to be able to do that, I have to create some miracles for my life first. Specifically, I have transformed the conversation that I’ve had about the holidays: “The holidays make me sad, I don’t have extended family anymore, I hate the holidays.” So here’s the fix it part: