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My Christmas dilemma began decades ago when I decided I didn’t need to have a basement under my new house since — or so I though — it would only give me a place to accumulate a lot of seldom-used material.
So, the space is “three rows” of block short of a basement height.
Now that I am older and I have become plagued with the nickname of “Three-row Bill,” I find myself grimly digging through piles of material once thought essential to life to locate Christmas decorations long forgotten.
Large storage bins had to be dragged through the passageways I created between piles of cartons, bags and generally indescribable shapes and colors of materials.
My agony was only beginning when I arrived in the living room with the newfound loot.
The process of selecting the good from the bad began in earnest, culminating with trips to Goodwill Stores and a massive pile of decorations on the pool table top.
I am afraid I developed a noticeably negative attitude which was detected by my wife, Saundra.
I tried to look cheerful and positive.
I was caught, grim-faced and without an excuse for my negativity. Bah humbug!
Now we are the proud owners of a glowing white Christmas tree with a touch-toe on-off button, a decorated mantel, and large electronic icicles dangling from the ceiling above the fireplace. I keep listening for the sound of a partridge coming from the tree. Open the front door, and sleigh bells ring; there’s a huge wreath above my desk, and I can’t wait for the “Village” to be placed under the tree and turned on; its tiny houses and shops with their tiny lights shining from their windows.
All these are or were must-have accoutrements for this season, or so the merchandisers have convinced us.
Soon our grandchildren will arrive with their over-developed texting and video-game thumbs, clambering for even more electronic games and gadgets.
Where did my old Christmas go, the one when a gift or two was enough, when it was fun to make your own candy, cakes and decorations?
When faces smiled more and there was more about the real reason for this holiday and family, and less about material things?
It seems the only joy left in Christmas is in the boardroom of Walmart and their fellow retailers.
Only we can change this.
Only we can rescue Christmas.