Carnes: Different, not necessarily better or worse
Admitting the 2020 pandemic Christmas season was different from the norm is about as shocking as admitting Lauren Boebert does not represent 99% of her constituents.
The 2021 pandemic Christmas season is already shaping up to be even differenter (yes, it’s not a real word, but most of you just shook your head in agreement anyway).
COVID-19 is killing more than ever, unemployment is down, but inflation is up, financial markets are resembling 2008, real estate prices are through the roof, tornadoes (in December!) are leveling entire towns, Russia’s about to invade Ukraine, China’s getting closer to invading Taiwan, and the Vail Daily is getting new owners.
Yet here we are, sweet and content with the new fallen snow and temperatures finally cold enough to keep it for a while, all in anticipation of another successful holiday around the valley.
And I have absolutely no problem with it.
This is my 62nd holiday season and, more importantly, my 37th Christmas in Happy Valley surrounded by a year-round endless supply of Christmas trees.
This time of year provides us all a chance to breathe, an opportunity to prove to ourselves and each other that the world in general is not really as bad as the headlines consistently seem to indicate.
It’s the temporary cessation of reality causing most everyone to smile, tips to be larger, food to taste better, drinks to have more flavor, hugs to last longer, snow to be deeper and makes most of us more excited than Lauren Boebert spending Christmas Day shooting guns with her kids.
We can carve a few turns, sip a hot spiced mocha while watching the smiling faces meander up and down Bridge Street, glare at the Gore with an appreciative sigh and finish at home with a Christmas beer (or two) with the wife, kids, dog, cat and whatever else floats your boat.
It’s not just a time of year but a frame of mind, yet sadly also the season of blatant hypocrisy, sacrilegious self-righteousness and the perpetual pursuit of patriotic materialism while FOX News and its silly made-up annual “War on Christmas” tirade promotes an invisible war with invisible victims about defending the honor of invisible deities.
But I still love it.
Christmas is enjoying the solitude of an infinite number of snowflakes gently floating across my view in the hushed harmonics of cohesive silence while listening to George Winston’s “December” by firelight and holding my wife close, mesmerized by the blinking lights of a Christmas tree.
Sure, while that line might make some of you stick your fingers down your throat, I don’t really care, as I also cherish my childhood memories of the Norelco Santa sliding down the snow on an electric razor and the sweetness of Dolly Madison Cakes while watching the original Rudolph, Grinch and Charlie Brown Christmas specials.
This is 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 each other, at least for a week or two.
So although different from 2020, a lot of the same issues still exist outside of Happy Valley, but here on the inside, we’ll make the best of it with what we have.
And of course, collectively hope we don’t have to deal with Boebert in the 2022 Christmas season.
Richard Carnes of Avon writes weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com.