Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In which I FINALLY reclaim some Christmas spirit...

In October I had it in spades. My emotional self was ready to get the decorations out but my common sense told me I was crazy so I let it go. I traditionally decorate the week of Thanksgiving and I told myself I could wait. But when Thanksgiving rolled around my Christmas spirit was nowhere to be found.

I blame it on deluge of Christmas hype that starts in late October/early November. By Thanksgiving I was sick of Christmas. We carried our artificial tree up to the living room and there it stands - naked. It's now December 23 and I don't see myself putting anything on that tree this year. If it wasn't for the 16 inches of snow on the ground I would have carried it back to the basement. The indoor stairs are a little narrow for the tree to maneuver so we carry it up through the yard and in the front door. I guess we'll just plug it in and look at the lights.

Doug has been concerned by my total inability to get with the spirit. I'm a little confused myself. We haven't decorated in 2 years and I was really looking forward to it this year, right up until it came time to do it, that is. Last year I was finishing up my chemo and didn't have the energy to decorate and the year before that we spent Christmas in Santa Fe with Doug's sister and her family. Since we weren't going to be home, I didn't decorate very much.

Last night I finally did my Christmas cards (yes, I know, you don't have to say it) and all of the sudden I felt the tiniest flutter of "something" in my heart. I got up and found the scotch tape and hung the cards we've received on the pillars in the living room. It looked so nice. I still don't hold out any hope for the tree but I believe that I'll put up the garlands and hang the wreath on the door when I get home today. Doug will be so surprised when he gets home!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

News or Entertainment?

This morning on the Today show they lead off with the couple who crashed the state dinner party, Tiger Woods, and the Jackson Brothers. It's strange, you know, because I thought WE ARE AT WAR! I realize that they can't show the serious stuff all the time but really, to lead off with those stories trivializes the struggles of the men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Am I wrong in thinking this way? Have I missed something along the way? When did the Today Show become an extension of Entertainment Tonight? For a society that is so focused on the media and instant access to the latest information about everything under the sun, it's really hard to find the news.

I listen to NPR (WYPR out of Baltimore) in the car on the way to and from work everyday and it has become my only real source for hard news. The fact that I have a 10 minute commute doesn't allow much time but I really do get more from those two 10 minutes sessions then I do for a whole half-hour of TV news or from our local newspaper. The paper focuses almost exclusively on local news with only one page devoted to world and national news. That's both on one page.

It seems that we can't handle the cold, hard facts anymore. We must be entertained or our attention wanders. I don't think it's really true but the media seems to think that we Americans have the attention span of a fruit fly and that if they don't wrap the facts in a sugary coating and then jamb them down our throats at the speed of light they'll lose us.

"Twenty-six people were killed in a roadside bombing in Iraq yesterday...oh look, a chicken!"

Come on, do we really have NADD (national attention deficit disorder)?