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Excuse #9

Friday, December 26, 2008


There are many ways to push a man to the edge of reason. One of them, being the most widespread method used in this era, is a bombardment of the senses.

An ordinary man is confronted to irrepressible noises maybe twice a day. Now, place this poor man in the middle of the blinding lights of a media circus, submitted to a parade of dancing signs to Best Bets and Pleased For Sure, surrounded by a chorus of children singing Do You Hear What I Hear? Welcome to the Holiday Reform Camp.

Starting as soon as November 1st, the majority of people begin to ask themselves one question: Who do I have to buy gifts for this year? The consumer has been trained to love the holidays against their own nature. Children who can barely sit on their own are offered gifts that are not only wrapped in eye-catching papers and bows, but all twelve or twenty presents are unwrapped by the excited and persevering adult. The babe sits and giggles, and wins everything.

Of course, the child grows up and expects this to go on forever, until the big red ruse is discovered. As in any relationship, someone gets hurt when the giving stops. At that point, a choice must be made, to play or not to play?

Other than the obvious attempt of consumers to buy into a feeling of Tradition with these gifts, they are also, in a backwards approach, trying to pull together the remains of their families and perhaps friendships for a few last heartwarming moments before they return to their old patterns for another 3oo or so mornings.

The ugly truth is, all of this artifice could be avoided if we lived like caring and emotional human beings. This illusion, this excuse that we create in order to tap ourselves on the back for thinking about another is proof that we have become mechanical. Slight beings that depend on media to show us The Way. And while the baby gets thirty gifts from obscure family members, hundreds of potential grand-parents are gathered in a hall of a city hotel, happy to be sharing a table and an evening with strangers who also feel forgotten.

Today is like any other day. My family, my friends and I have been reinventing our holidays, our patterns and our self-defining moment for a few years now; choosing to celebrate winter birthdays under the summer sky, spending less time on decorating socks and spending more time telling each other the not so pretty truth. Reality is a chance to be lived every day.

Some people know how to live every moment to the fullest. They squeeze every possibility out of a day, living it like a holiday, like anything is possible. And why not? Why wait for an occasion or make an excuse to call someone up, to write them a letter or to bake them a pie? Anything can happen with some motor skills. Don’t wait for the commercial. Don’t wait for the store to open. You don’t need a bow.

Turns out this year, all they want for christmas is love.

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posted by Primessa Espiritu
12:06 pm



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