Iowa Specialty Hospital

Notes from Steve

December 20, 2018

This was Christmas 1968.  I was in the front row on the right in the blue pajamas.  I was seriously not happy - as everyone else, besides me got themed pajamas, but I got normal blue ones.  This probably was the start of my bah-humbugging perspective on Christmas.  It’s not right or good but there it is … Back then I think parenting had a different perspective, I imagine my folks saying “suck it up” as opposed to getting me themed pajamas. I never got themed pajamas. 

Now, at 54 years of age, as opposed to four, my reaction to the holiday season is not that vastly different.  I do all the stuff - Christmas music, gifts, decorating … all of it - but with a cynical eye.  But as I am playing my Pandora Christmas music station at full blast in my car on the interstate going the speed limit and cars are passing me - instead of screaming at them to go the speed limit; I just sing (scream) along with the music - to the point of hoarseness.  Which, I guess is good that I am celebrating in song the “reason for the season” … but is it in the right context?  Or decorating.  Is it right or good that the decorations on my tree include beer coasters or that I threaten to put up the sign “no decorations as I have converted to Judaism for the month of December”? 

I need to become good with the fact that I didn’t get themed pajamas in 1968, and I need to understand the reasons as to “why” I use Christmas music to rage against bad drivers, and “why” I feel the need to question and criticize and bah humbug.  I need to focus on the goodness of the season -- generosity, caring for one another, good memories of family and loved ones.   

I read on a post the other day that not everyone enjoys the holidays like we are “supposed to” per the Hallmark channel.  If you don’t feel 100% festive, know that it’s all right.  If you want to celebrate that’s fine and it’s all right if you don’t.  If your plans don’t include the traditional ways of observing - that’s cool.  Whatever your plans are for next week - I hope you have the best time possible…and me?  I love the warm December, and rage singing “O Holy Night” is a joyful activity.  Feliz Navidad!

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