Odd Thoughts: Anytime is the right time for joy

It’s nearly Christmas!

Well… not really.

But already the lights and decorations are going up.

And not just wherever people think there’s a buck to be made from gaudy displays of religious opportunism.

In your own neighbourhood you may find folks who simply can’t wait to share the joy they find in Dec. 25.

I say, good for them.

Once upon a time the holier than thou chuckled under our breaths (I confess, I was once part of that dismal crowd) at the misbegotten fools who would dare slap up their coloured lights and mount their lawn reindeer as early as Dec. 1 – the earliest that anyone used to dare shout a bit of visual joy from their rooftops.

It was socially acceptable to wait a weekend or two before Christmas Day to turn on the electric charm.

Certainly, there was a cultural component.

The neighbourhood in which I grew up was veritably infested with immigrants, most of European extraction, with more staid views about how – and how long – Christmas should be celebrated.

Our family, for instance, had no penchant for Christmas tree longevity.

How can you keep the tree alive all the way to Jan. 6 – the appropriate day for its defrocking and disposal – if it’s chopped, mounted, and electrified weeks before Christmas?

Our tree rose to splendour on Christmas Eve – after the littlest ones’ bedtimes, so they would rise to the surprise of a sparkling tree on Christmas morning.

I’m not advocating anymore for the old ways, though, as charming as they were.

I’ve noticed there isn’t as much joy as there should be. And anyone who wishes to ramp up the joyful volume of Christmas a few days early is blessed.

Even the fake joy of department store displays helps beat back a bit of the darkness that fills too many plates of those who seem to have been cast out of the sunlight.

But if you want to spread some joy beyond the line of sight of your house, talk with the folks at the Langley Christmas Bureau – or some other such group, if you prefer.

They bring Christmas to those who have none.

And it is truly shocking to learn how many plates in this rich and thriving community would be filled with darkness on Christmas Day if it were not for them – and perhaps you.

 

 

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