Vail Dail columnist Richard Carnes: Ignore the cynics, and just enjoy the season |

Vail Dail columnist Richard Carnes: Ignore the cynics, and just enjoy the season

I don’t know about you, but the next few weeks are always my favorite time of year (at least the parts I’m willing to share in a public forum).

Sadly, but not too surprisingly, not everyone feels the same.

But while Fox News is busy waging the annual faux outrage at its self-contrived, pretend “War on Christmas” and Rick Perry is running TV equating gays with children not being able to enjoy Christmas (he is truly a strange man), most of us are busy concentrating on how to buy every single gift for every single person on our lists in the next 11 days.

And to top it off, we have to worry about shipping (not to mention receiving).

Also, while Fox News is busy attacking the Muppets, of all things, for promoting socialism (they are truly a strange network) and the Drudge Report is obsessed with Michelle Obama’s calorie intake, most of us (I’d like to think) are enjoying Christmas lights, Christmas parties, Christmas music and just the general all-around good feeling of Christmastime.

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The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

That’s the way it should be.

And speaking of the word – Christmas- I hope most will not be so wrapped up (ha!) in personal definitions but simply remember the big picture of what the word has evolved to convey nationwide over the last hundred years: a time for children, community, sharing, goodwill, friendship, brotherhood, joy, imagination, peace, hope, kindness, bright lights, brilliant colors, heart-warming music, mouthwatering tastes, the giving and receiving of gifts and the one calendar page when most people are nice to one another, at least for a week or two.

That’s what really matters.

Don’t be insecure about shouting “Merry Christmas!” to anyone, or “Happy Holidays!” for that matter, but feel free to refrain from referring to a beautifully decorated spruce as a “holiday tree.”

That just sounds silly.

‘Tis the season of spiritual togetherness, too, as well as the season of blatant hypocrisy, sacrilegious self-righteousness and the perpetual pursuit of patriotic materialism.

So whatever the reasons for celebrating in your own heart, it doesn’t matter to me as long as you can lower your cynical defenses for a few weeks and pretend to like people perhaps more than you really do.

Providing us all with a chance to breathe, it’s an opportunity to prove to ourselves and one another that the world in general is not really as bad as the headlines might seem to dictate (although, admittedly, in some cases it’s actually worse).

Either way, whatever you wish to call it or whatever it means to you as an individual, the big picture known as the Christmas season comes into sharper focus over the next few weeks for the planet’s only inhabitants capable of plotting their own extinction.

That’s us, by the way.

And never forget, one does not have to believe in magic to enjoy the magic of Christmas, no matter how loud Fox News shouts otherwise.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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