Merry Frickin’ Christmas!

Filed in Cult Of Pop 2.0

It’s Christmas Eve already? How did that creep up on me?

I have to say, it hasn’t been feeling much like Christmas around here. The card I noted in my last post was a big ol’ shot of holiday cheer, but it stands out for its singularity, a small act of kindness with a nice big U15 sticker to bring the message home. But otherwise… well, I’ve got my reasons.

First, I’ve never really liked the holiday. I like the holiday good will, and the religious significance is something important to me, though perhaps not in as straightforward a Christian way as for other people… But that’s, what, 10% of the total experience nowadays? The shopping, the pressure, the constant media barrage… I can do without that stuff. It takes a lot for me to get jazzed up and caught in the wave of Christmas excitement, and I haven’t felt that in a long while. And with most all my family thousands of miles away, I don’t have to grin and bear it and pretend I’m feeling all Christmas-y this time.

Second, Hawaii really isn’t all that Christmas-y to me. I love my new home, but it doesn’t do Christmas as well as, say, Iowa or New York. Even Florida – Cape Coral is one elaborate lawn pageant of Christmas gaudiness after another, and driving around at night would give me a good shot of holiday dizziness. No offense, but not even the Honolulu City Lights display can’t compare to the home of one Floridian who practically turns his roof into a million-watt landing strip of colored lights every December.

Third, my head’s been up my ass. I’ve been damned busy with freelancing – I’ll be starting 2006 "between temping assignments" (i.e., my current temp assignment’s about to end after nine months). This is exciting because I’m ready to try full-time freelancing for a month or two, but the run-up to such freedom has made me place Christmas (and blogging) aside in favor of lining up work. It’s brought more time reading and taking notes in coffee shops, though, which is a very good thing. Overan iced moccha, I read an article on Bram Stoker’s Dracula which made me beam with happiness more than any Christmas carol ever could.

Fourth, the people I see on a daily basis – wife and co-worker / friends – haven’t been in an overtly Christmas mood, either. At work, the Secret Santa gift I gave involved a minor act of cruelty wrapped around some gaming goodness. (And of course, I took more pleasure in the cruelty than in the goodness.) In turn, the Secret Santa gift I received was delightfully, hardcore obscene – but the joy it brought me was festive in a pants-around-the-ankles way, not in an Andy Williams Christmas Special way. (Though maybe the two aren’t so different…)

But.

It isn’t like I’ve been feeling depressed, which sometimes happens this time of year. Distracted, certainly. A bit confused, yes. But I’ve been looking back at this past year and feeling very good about how it turned out. I’m looking ahead to 2006 and feeling positively stoked. And the conversations about God that’ve popped up because of Christmas have been very gratifying. I could ask for more, but why?

Today my wife and I are going to buy Christmas gifts for each other, braving Ala Moana and spending money that should be going to rent. Tomorrow we’ll probably walk around Waikiki a little, same as we did last Christmas, and enjoy how un-Christmasy it is, with people on the beach, stores and restaurants all open. We’ll cook a big hunk of dead animal – lamb, perhaps? – for a cozy Christmas dinner. And we’ll count the days to the Kouhaku showing on local station KIKU. 19-nin Morning Musume, baby.