The New Holidays

By Bob Batch

Well, now that summer is officially over, it’s time to start ‘The Holiday Season’.  Yes, we can’t wait for the ‘best time of the year’ to arrive, we’ve got to start preparing now.  Preparing for all the decorating, wrapping, planning, buying, spending, stress and hysteria.  Don’t forget the latest tradition that’s been added to the cannon of rituals, arguing about whether to call these end of the year festivities Christmas, or the Holidays.

Bob Batch

Nothing takes us out of our ordinary hum drum lives like the Christmas/Holiday season.  It’s the goal line were all waiting to reach at the end of the year.  I mean, nobody waits with such great anticipation for Flag Day, or for that matter, any of the other holidays.  Even if you don’t care a feather or a fig for Christmas you’ve still got to observe it, or at least get caught up in the hoopla one way or the other.

Now I’m not a person who dislikes Christmas, but I can see the point of people who claim to be Atheists or belong to a religion other than Christianity when they are a bit chagrined about having such an all consuming holiday foisted upon them.  After all, you just can’t escape the decorations, the songs, the crowds – and you’d better enjoy it – or maybe you’re not one of us…. Maybe there’s something wrong with you….

I must admit that I’m a little perplexed by the people who are so passionate about celebrating Christmas, but have no interest in the religious aspect of it, which is after all, what the whole celebrating thing is about.

Maybe not!  Maybe the religious part of ‘The Holidays’ is passé.  Maybe we should just leave that part of the whole candles, presents, cards, feasting extravaganza to the devout shut-ins, and the rest of us carry on with the merriment.

In fact, I can see a day when there is a new better reason to engage in all the devotion and fervor we reserve for the Holidays.  It is the unveiling of new electronic equipment ritual.

As it is today, when the new I Phone, or I Pad, or whatever the latest gadget is, gets ready for release, there are people waiting in line for weeks to buy the first ones on the market.  Just like certain Christmas toys, which become ‘hot’ each year, the demand for this stuff is so great that the slave laborers somewhere in the Far East can’t make enough of these devices to go around.

Truly our devotion to these phones has taken on a religious fervor beyond most people’s passion for spiritual sustenance.  My God, people practically worship these things; they walk around in an electronic trance so engaged with the screen that they are oblivious to all around them, even to the extent of walking into traffic while they check their email or texts.

Personally, having come from a time which now seems like the far distant past, I can tell you there were great advantages in not being expected to take everyone’s call all the time and not being constantly bombarded with promotions and useless information.  Back when you weren’t excessively texting people you actually had something to say to them when you saw them in person.

Come to think of it, with regard to the Holidays, there are quite a few we still celebrate which have little or no connection to their original observance. Particularly the holidays that honor Veterans or our Country, they’re more about department store sales and barbeques than what they were intended to commemorate.

You know how there is no great motivation to make Election Day a real holiday so people could actually get to the polls easily and turn out to vote about things that matter to their future?  Well, I bet there would be more interest in a referendum to make the new Apple product release date a holiday if someone just got it started.  From what I see out shopping we could easily replace President’s Day with Video Game Day and no-one under thirty years old would notice the difference.

Yes, the time may soon come when we abandon these tired old excuses to have holidays and go right to the source of our devotion. It would be the ultimate tie-in, the final marketing coup-de-grace. ‘Applemas!’ All we need are a few updated songs and some cute new characters for the holiday,

Now I know this all sounds terribly cynical and sacrilegious, but soon when they implant these devices that we’ve come to love right in to your scull it won’t bother you at all.  You’ll have that wonderful overwhelming sense of anticipation for the big event coming up.  The warm desire for precious times spent with friends and family, the ‘I can’t wait for it to arrive’ feeling.  Except it will be ‘The Holiday Download’!

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